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Kevin McCarthy hopes to keep promise to remove Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs committee

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, smiles after a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in July. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, smiles after a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in July. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Saturday that he plans to keep a promise he made last year that if he were to become the Speaker of the House, he would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

McCarthy made his comments during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2022 leadership meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday.

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"Last year, I promised that when I became Speaker, I would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee based on her repeated antisemitic and anti-American remarks," McCarthy said. "I'm keeping that promise."

The latest election results, released Friday, indicate that Republicans have gained control of the lower chamber of Congress -- controlling 219 seats compared with 212 held by Democrats four four seats not determined yet.

A total of 218 seats were required for either party to hold control of the House and McCarthy is expected to officially be voted House Speaker by members of his party.

However, the Speaker of the House does not have the power to remove a member from a standing committee like the Foreign Affairs committee and only a majority vote by the entire House could remove her from her seat on the committee.

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Omar, a progressive Democrat who represents Minnesota, has often been a critic of the nation of Israel which has been criticized by Republicans -- and particularly evangelical conservative Christians, who believe that Jewish people must control the region to fulfill a biblical prophecy of the second coming of Jesus.

Previously, Omar has opposed laws to restrict the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and voiced support for a two-state solution to resolve conflict between Israel and Palestine. Some of her comments include having tweeted that "Israel has hypnotized the world" and accused the nation of "evil doings."

She later faced criticism for appearing to imply that political support for Israel is based on pro-Israel lobbying groups and tweeted about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."

McCarthy has threatened to "take action" against Omar and fellow progressive lawmaker Rashida Tlaib, who was born in the U.S. to Palestinian immigrants, as far back as 2019. In January, he also pledged to remove Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from their committee seats.

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