Ranking member on House Foreign Affairs Committee says Ilhan Omar ‘has to go’

July 10, 2019

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee thinks that Ilhan Omar “has to go.”

Ranking member Michael McCaul (R-TX) called for Omar’s (D-MN) ouster from the committee over her history of anti-Semitic comments, Breitbart reported. The Republican sat down for a discussion with an Israeli journalist about America’s relationship with Israel at the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, DC on Monday.

“Ultimately that’s a decision for Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Engel, but as for me…I think Omar has to go,” McCaul said.

“This cannot stand”

Omar has faced calls to resign from the committee ever since she inflamed controversy this year with comments widely seen as anti-Semitic. In February, Omar accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of buying off American politicians in rhetoric that many said invoked anti-Semitic cliches.

Republicans have repeatedly called on Democrats to censure Omar, but discipline has proven elusive. A House resolution to rebuke Omar fell apart under pressure from the party’s progressive wing, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) settled on a generic condemnation of hate in all its forms.

Asked by Israeli journalist Michelle Makori of i24 News whether Omar should lose her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, McCaul drew boos from the crowd at first for suggesting that Democrats should make a move — an unlikely event, to say the least. But the crowd erupted with applause when McCaul said that Omar “has to go.”

The Republican affirmed America’s alliance with Israel, saying that the Foreign Affairs Committee “has always been bipartisan on foreign affairs. But it’s also been pro-Israel. And now, for the first time, we have a member on this committee that is not and is making anti-Semitic comments.”

“And then we have Tlaib and AOC joining in on the chorus against the Jewish people,” McCaul said, referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). “This cannot stand in the United States of America.”

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the committee chairman, has shown no signs of budging.

Surrounded by controversy

Besides her comments on Israel, many are troubled by Omar’s place on the influential committee given her comments on a wide range of matters. The Democrat has been accused by Republicans of showing hostility and ingratitude toward the country that took her in as a refugee from Somalia. In a 2017 op-ed, for instance, Omar wrote that America was “founded on genocide.”

After the initial anti-Semitism dust-up, Omar has repeatedly made remarks that many consider anti-American. The Democrat raised more than a few eyebrows earlier this year when she described 9/11 as the day when “some people who did something.”

The Democrat has made similarly odd comments that some say show hostility to the West during speeches at fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been tied to Hamas. In 2016, Omar lobbied a judge to be lenient towards Minnesotan men who tried to join ISIS.

Criticisms mount

Omar has also been in the press lately, and not in a good way, over alleged tax and campaign finance fraud. Minnesota campaign officials last month ordered Omar to pay fines and restitution to her campaign after finding she improperly used money from her campaign for the Minnesota legislature on travel and personal legal services. The report also brought forth bombshell evidence that Omar may have cheated on her taxes by filing joint returns with a man with whom she was not legally married.

Omar’s numerous scandals recently earned a stinging rebuke from her hometown newspaper.

The freshman from Minnesota is among the most prominent progressives in the new Congress, and she has attracted as much attention for her extreme positions on immigration as she has for her anti-Semitic rhetoric. The Democrat recently blasted President Trump for using the term “illegal alien” and has called for an end to all deportations.

On Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson caused controversy by asserting that Omar “despises America” and is “living proof” that America’s immigration system needs to be reformed. Omar fired back by accusing Carlson of being a white supremacist and calling for an advertiser boycott in hopes of forcing the cancellation of this show.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.