Representatives of the Republican party, Nancy Mace (S.C.), and Victoria Spartz(Ind. Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Victoria Spartz (Ind.) are Republican representatives who say they will vote against the party line to support the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s anti-Israel Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minn.
Spartz and Mace both are defending Omar faces a vote next Wednesday that will determine whether she is removed from the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee. Omar’s place on the committee has irked Republican leaders due to her repeated anti-Semitic statements and fierce advocacy against Israel. Omar claimed in 2021 “Israel has hypnotized the world.” She also claimed that pro Israel politicians were paid off in order to support the Jewish state, and support for Israel. “all about the Benjamins baby.”
The impending vote is a test for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), who has had trouble keeping his party in line following the protracted and contentious vote that ultimately handed him the speaker’s gavel. One of McCarthy’s top priorities is removing Omar and other controversial Democrats from committee positions in the same way Democrats stripped Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (R., Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R., Ariz.) of their committee assignments over tenuous claims they incited violence. Omar could not be booted from the committee due to two Republicans already joining Democrats.
Spartz, in a statement Earlier this week, he said: “Two wrongs do not make a right. 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.”
“I will not support this charade again,” Spartz said.
A majority vote will be required to vote in favor of Omar’s removal. However, Mace and Spartz are expected to defect and Democrats expect to support her unanimously. The vote could also fail if other Republicans switch sides. Further complicating matters, Rep. Greg Steube (R., Fla.)—the author of a 2019 resolution condemning Omar’s numerous anti-Semitic remarks—is currently in the hospital after suffering a fall at his Florida home.
Omar’s place on the Foreign Affairs Committee has long rankled Republicans, pro-Israel lawmakers, and Jewish advocacy groups, all of whom see her as pushing an anti-Israel agenda on a committee that has historically stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Jewish state.
Omar claimed in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” adding, “May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
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