Republicans have secured Ilhan Omar's expulsion from powerful House committee
Congressmen secured the expulsion of U.S. House of Representatives member Ilhan Omar from the prestigious committee for statements widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
The House of Representatives “split” in a vote “along party lines,” with 218 in favor and 211 against.
The reason for the decision was Ilhan Omar’s 2019 remarks, for which she later apologized.
Omar, who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia, is the only African-born member of the U.S. Congress and one of the few Muslim women in the House. She was to become the top Democrat on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Africa.
Republicans, who gained some House majority in the November election after years in the minority, said they wanted Omar, who was elected to the House for the third time, to be fired from the Foreign Affairs Committee for statements that included the words, published on her Twitter account in 2019, “It’s all about the ‘Benjamins, baby.'” The implication was that Israel’s supporters in U.S. politics were driven by money, not principles.
Benjamin Franklin, whose signature on the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1787 U.S. Constitution earned him a reputation as one of the founding fathers of the United States, is pictured on the $100 bill.
During the debate on Ilhan Omar’s expulsion case, Republican Mike Lawler said: “Words matter, and rhetoric matters. You can be offended by them. A congressman is responsible for his words and actions.”
Omar and other Democrats have said that any such remarks were made years ago, and that Omar deleted the tweets and apologized back then.
However, shortly before the U.S. House of Representatives voted to remove her from the committee, Omar said: “My leadership and voice will not diminish if I am not on this committee … my voice will become louder and stronger.”
Ilhan Omar has said in the past that U.S. forces, like those of other countries, should be held equally accountable when their actions cause harm or civilian deaths.
The firing, which was led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, was seen by Democrats as retaliation for their 2021 vote to remove Republicans Marjorie Taylor Green and Paul Gosar from House committees after their inappropriate remarks.
Gosar then posted a video on social media that “montaged” what appeared to be him killing another House member, Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters before the vote on Omar that Democrats have long condemned her “Benjamins” remarks.
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