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House votes to remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee despite heartfelt ‘I am an American’ speech

House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, despite a candid speech from the congresswoman.

Shortly before the vote, Ms Omar gave a heartfelt speech about how her American identity was influenced by her war-torn childhood.

“I am an American, an American who was sent here by her constituents to represent them in Congress. A refugee who survived the horrors of a civil war. Someone who spent their childhood in a refugee camp,” she said. “Is anyone surprised that I’m being targeted?” Is anyone surprised that I’m somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced.

Republicans have sought to remove Ms. Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over past comments they interpreted as anti-Semitic. In 2019, she tweeted that Republicans wanted to condemn her comments about Israel because “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” a reference to Benjamin Franklin on $100 bills.

Ms Omar later apologized for her remarks.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously removed Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California from the House Intelligence Committee.

The president has discretion to remove members of the intelligence committee and reportedly fires Mr. Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, in retaliation for Mr. Schiff’s words during the investigation into ties between the 2016 campaign of the former President Donald Trump and Russia.

Mr McCarthy also fired Mr Swalwell after Axios reported that a Chinese spy tried to cultivate a relationship with the congressman for several years, even though Mr Swalwell allegedly committed no wrongdoing.

But the vote on Rep. Omar comes after House Democrats voted to remove Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committees last year. All Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to impeach Ms. Greene over her history of racist, anti-Semitic and conspiratorial comments ahead of her election to Congress in 2020.

“It wasn’t my decision to have the vote but, you know, she voted to get Republicans off the committees, so you reap what you sow,” Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said. The Independent.

But some Democrats, including many Jewish Democrats such as Mr. Schiff, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, have defended Ms. Omar.

Representative Ruben Gallego said The Independent it was a testament to Mr. McCarthy’s weak leadership.

“That he has no leadership, no backbone to stand up to his own people and basically targets black women for political gain,” he said.

The Independent Gt

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