Spartz says she will support McCarthy in denying Omar seat on Foreign Affairs committee
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) said Tuesday that she’ll support Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in denying Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, doubling back after she asserted last week that she wouldn’t back the effort.
McCarthy has targeted Omar along with California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for removal from their committee posts. But while the Speaker can block the latter two on his own, he needs a full House vote to keep Omar off Foreign Affairs.
Spartz explained that she switched positions after McCarthy and other Republicans agreed to include language in the resolution to remove Omar that would allow for an appeal of the decision to House Ethics.
“I appreciate Speaker McCarthy’s willingness to address legitimate concerns and add due process language to our resolution. Deliberation and debate are vital for our institution, not top-down approaches,” Spartz said in a statement.
“As to my fellow conservatives, I think setting a precedent of allowing an appeal process for the Speaker’s and majority-party removal decisions is particularly important to freedom-loving legislators who usually are on the receiving end of issues like this,” she added.
Spartz’s initial opposition to the resolution threw a wrench in McCarthy’s efforts to get the resolution through the House with the GOP’s slim majority.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told reporters on Tuesday that Republicans have the votes to oust Omar from the Foreign Affairs panel — and McCarthy reportedly told CNN the same.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he’s still undecided.
“I haven’t made a final decision about my vote, but I care a lot about due process and the lack of any due process was one of the more uncomfortable features of this to me yesterday,” Gaetz told The Hill.
Reps. Ken Buck (RColo.) and Nancy Mace (RS.C.) have indicated that they will not support ousting Omar. It’s not yet clear when a vote on the resolution will be scheduled.
Emily Brooks and Mychael Schnell contributed.
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