Yet another Republican comes to defense of Ilhan Omar, vows to oppose her removal from important committee

News & Politics

A third Republican lawmaker has come to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

On Friday, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) joined two other House Republicans in defending Omar after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy booted her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I think that we should not engage in this tit for tat,” Buck said on NBC News. “I am opposed to the removal of Congresswoman Omar from committees.”

Buck qualified his response by noting the role that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi played in booting lawmakers from committees.

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“I think Nancy Pelosi ruined this institution. I think she ruined it in a lot of different ways and one of the ways was kicking members off of committees, which hadn’t been done in the past,” he explained, noting that committee expulsions traditionally had been managed internally within parties, citing former Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) as an example.

GOP congressman is ‘opposed to the removal’ of Rep. Omar from House Foreign Affairs

Buck’s position imperils McCarthy’s campaign to remove Omar for her alleged history of anti-Semitism.

That is because, despite being House speaker, McCarthy cannot unilaterally remove members from standing committees, which include the Foreign Affairs Committee. Removing Omar from the committee requires majority approval — 218 votes — via a floor vote of the entire House.

But Republicans only have 222 seats. And because Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) have already announced their opposition to booting Omar from the committee, McCarthy has no margin for error.

Anything else?

Omar claimed on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend that other Republican lawmakers have told her behind closed doors that they will not support her removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

She did not, however, disclose which Republicans have purportedly vowed to support her.

Meanwhile, Omar reiterated her belief that McCarthy and other Republicans specifically oppose her holding a position on the important Foreign Affairs Committee because she is Muslim.

“It is politically motivated. And, in some cases, it’s motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Omar claimed.

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