House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made some waves on Capitol Hill with his plan to remove several far-left Democrats from influential committee assignments.
The move is seen as retaliation for the removal of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from their respective panels when Democrats held a majority in the House. Although many of his fellow Republicans are on board with the idea, at least two GOP lawmakers are expressing solidarity with one of the targeted Democrats.
McCarthy wants to strip Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN) are planning to oppose the measure when it goes to a vote next week.
In addition to targeting Omar, McCarthy has also voiced his desire to remove Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both from California, from the House Intelligence Committee.
“Two wrongs do not make a right,” Spartz said. “Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the minority without proper due process again.”
He concluded that he “will not support this charade again.”
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), one of Omar’s most outspoken critics, is unlikely to be cast a vote as he recovers from serious injuries he sustained in a fall at his home.
With a razor-thin majority in the chamber, it is possible that McCarthy will not have enough support from within his own caucus to oust Omar. Nevertheless, it is clear that many House Republicans believe that she should not have a seat on the powerful committee based on her record of engaging in rhetoric widely interpreted as antisemitic.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders are making the case for maintaining her current position.
Hakeem Jeffries "strongly" supports Rep. Ilhan Omar serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee after years of her making antisemitic and inflammatory remarks. pic.twitter.com/E29oeBbsgA
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 26, 2023
As House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) asserted: “She has the background and breadth and experience to serve on this committee, and she should be able to.”
It remains to be seen how many other Republicans might reach across the aisle to oppose McCarthy’s move, but Aguilar predicted that “it’s going to be a bipartisan vote to keep her on the committee.”