In a new statement, Rep. Ilhan Omar is now accusing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of being “racist” and “xenophobic” for removing her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar, a member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights, defended her position in a tweet saying she is “the only African-born” member.
“As the only African born, not being on the Africa subcommittee is not just an elimination of a unique voice but an elimination of all the voices that have never been heard on a committee on the continent,” Omar wrote.
She added: “It’s racist, xenophobic and discriminatory.”
Omar echoed these remarks during an appearance Sunday on MSNBC’s “Yasmin Vossoughian Reports.”
“I think it would be hypocritic [sic] for him to remove, you know, the first African born on subcommittee on Africa on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where I’ve had the opportunity to not only represent my constituents but the voice of so many people who have never had a voice on the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Omar said.
Omar has previously described McCarthy’s decision as a political stunt, a blow to the integrity of the democratic institution and a threat to national security.
McCarthy has said he is removing Omar from the position as she has upset many of her colleagues in the past with controversial anti-Israel statements that highlighted antisemitic tropes.
She once said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” to explain why McCarthy criticized her for opposing the Jewish country. She also sparked backlash for a remark comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
McCarthy, as Speaker, has the authority to approve committee appointments offered by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Republican members could offer a vote to keep Omar on the committee, and at least two Republicans have expressed support to keep her position.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., and Nancy Mace, R-SC., said they oppose removing her from the committee.
In addition to Omar, McCarthy has rejected the appointments of Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both Democrats from California, to the House Intelligence Committee.
“Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee,” Schiff tweeted Tuesday. “This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump.”
“If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is. I will always defend our democracy,” the Democrat added.
The Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights Subcommittee previously included Reps. Karen Bass, D-Calif., who was the Chairwoman in the 117th Congress, Christopher Smith, R-NJ., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Greg Steube, R-Fla., Dean Phillips, D-Minn., Ami Bera, D-Calif., Young Kim, R-Calif., Ronny Jackson, R-TX., Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., and others.