House Foreign Affairs chairman says he won't remove Omar from committee

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse panel halts contempt proceedings against Pompeo after documents turned over Engel subpoenas US global media chief Michael Pack The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said that he will not remove Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar urges Democrats to focus on nonvoters over 'disaffected Trump voters' Omar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE (D-Minn.) from his committee over controversial comments made by the Minnesota freshman.

“No, I’m not close to it," Engel said when asked on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" if he would remove Omar from the committee.

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"First of all, it's not up to me. This is done by the leadership. I don't know that that would do anything except exacerbate the situation even more. I'm looking to get rid of anti-Semitism, not looking to punish anybody.”

Engel was pressed on the possibility of removing Omar following comments she made last week that he has called anti-Semitic.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said at an event last week at a restaurant and bookstore in Washington, D.C.

“I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy?” she said in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Engel pushed back on the comments, saying that it was unacceptable to question someone's loyalty over their support for Israel and called for Omar to apologize.

“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Engel said in a statement following Omar's comments.

“Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives.”

House Democratic leaders are set to vote Thursday on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism that does not call out Omar by name.

This is not the first time the Minnesota Democrat has been embroiled in controversy over remarks labeled as anti-Semitic.

In two now-deleted tweets, Omar last month wrote that U.S. politicians' defense of Israel's was "all about the Benjamins baby," while adding that AIPAC was funding lawmakers who criticized her stance.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats issued a joint statement condemning those remarks and calling for Omar to apologize, which she did.