McCarthy Prepares To Clean House

Voice of America, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday (November 18), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) revealed he would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from her role on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over “antisemitic” comments the progressive Democrat made when he takes the Speaker’s gavel next year.

McCarthy made the comments at the annual Jewish Coalition leadership conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, to cheers from the audience.

The House Minority Leader expressed watching “antisemitism grow, not just on our campuses, but… in the halls of Congress.” He then recalled promising to the Jewish Coalition in 2021 that Omar would not be on the Foreign Affairs committee, noting that he will be “keeping that promise.”

McCarthy is primed to become House Speaker when Republicans take the House majority on January 3, when the full House should vote on who should control the Speaker’s gavel.

McCarthy will need 218 votes to secure the Speakership. Republicans have a slim majority, currently having won 218 seats — with a handful of races yet to be called. Therefore to assume the role, McCarthy cannot lose more than a few votes.

To remove Omar, who has been in Congress since 2018, the California Republican will have to overcome opposition from the conservative Freedom Caucus.

Omar made several disparaging remarks about Israel and Jewish people, including espousing an antisemitic trope when she said it was “all about the Benjamins” for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The Minnesota Democrat also compared the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban when she tweeted, “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”