GOP lawmaker pushes measure to remove Omar from Foreign Affairs panel

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) on Tuesday revealed a measure proposing the removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in opposition to calls from Democratic leaders to remove GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) from her committee assignments over a series of violent remarks made in recent years. 

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to consider a resolution, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), to strip Greene of her seats on two committees — Budget as well as Education and Labor — citing unspecified “conduct she has exhibited.” 

Greene has gained significant bipartisan criticism in recent days over emerging reports, primarily from Media Matters, on past statements made publicly and on social media.  

Greene, who has previously indicated support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, has questioned the existence of the 9/11 attacks, claimed mass school shootings were fabricated to promote gun reform measures and endorsed acts of violence against Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a statement Tuesday condemning what he called “loony” conspiracy theories from Greene, with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) saying that Republicans “should make it very clear that [Greene] does not represent us in any way.”

Greene has received backing from former President Trump and has also been a vocal proponent of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in a “rigged” election in favor of President Biden. 

However, some Republicans have pushed back on the moves to punish Greene. 

Babin, who was among the group of GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of challenging certain Biden electors even after the violent pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, tweeted Tuesday evening that he planned on offering an amendment to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in an apparent protest to calls to remove Greene’s committee assignments. 

“If the Democrat Majority wants to go down this road, they should start by dealing with their own members who have been at this before and AFTER their election to Congress,” Babin wrote, attaching screenshots of a list of past statements made by Omar. 

Among the remarks that Babin claims justifies Omar’s removal was an alleged 2012 tweet during one of Israel’s fights against Hamas in Gaza, with Omar writing, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Babin also cites a 2019 tweet from Omar in which she claimed that Trump was attempting to lead a “US backed coup in Venezuela” and “install a far right opposition.” 

In a statement later shared with The Hill, Babin called the upcoming measure on Greene’s appointments before the House Rules Committee “a farce and a shame,” and, “The best outcome would be for a few brave Democrats on that committee to join with the Republicans to put aside this resolution or simply adjourn the hearing altogether.”

“For literally centuries, the majority in the House – whether that be Republican or Democrat – has always allowed the minority to choose from their ranks who will sit on as many committee seats as they are allotted for that Congress,” Babin added. “The action put forth by this resolution would shatter that precedent, and even many Democrats are rightly concerned about doing so.  If they aren’t speaking out, it’s only because they fear retribution and punishment by the Speaker and her allies.”

The Hill has also reached out to Omar’s office for comment. 

Omar earlier in the evening Tuesday tweeted, without directly mentioning Greene or other lawmakers, “Stop whitewashing the actions of the bigoted conspiracy theorists, violent insurrectionists and fascist cult followers of Trump.”

“It’s really sad to see how much of the whataboutism from the media and the Radical Right is rooted in misogyny, islamophobia and racism,” she added. “Do better.”

Updated at 9:47 p.m.

Tags 2020 election Brian Babin committee assignments Debbie Wasserman Schultz Donald Trump Gaza Hamas Ilhan Omar Israel Marjorie Taylor Greene Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Nancy Pelosi qanon conspiracy Twitter

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