Why Speaker McCarthy shouldn’t oust Rep. Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs (yet)

We think new Speaker Kevin McCarthy might have made a mistake in moving to block Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Hear us out.

The speaker’s on beyond-solid ground in blocking California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee. One has repeatedly lied to the public about what’s in intel that he’s seen. The other, says McCarthy, “can’t get a security clearance in the private sector. I’m not going to give him a government security clearance” because he likely slept with a Chinese spy.

In each case, that’s real, nonpartisan cause.

But the issue with Omar is that she’s rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. Even though then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a precedent for removing an opposition member from committees over her views and speech, it’s a bad precedent: Each party should police its own extremes, or answer to the voters for it.

We’re not remotely fans of Omar, who denounces Jews and Zionists as disloyal, money-grubbing hypnotists who control US policy. But it’s the Democrats and their House leader (New York’s own Rep. Hakeem Jeffries) who should pull her off the committee or even expel her from the party caucus — if she truly doesn’t represent their beliefs.

Ilhan Omar
The move to boot Omar comes in response to Democrats ousting Reps. Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene from their panels during last Congress.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Of course, Pelosi wouldn’t even hold a vote to censure Omar after her hate-speech outbursts in 2019. McCarthy’s best move would be to finally allow that resolution — though he should probably wait until she utters fresh bigotry. We doubt it’ll be long. In the meantime, let America see the kind of extremism that the Democrats embrace.

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