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Tipsheet

Why Some House Dems Regret Purging GOP Members From Committees

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

When it happens, Rebecca will have the official vote count, but it looks like the House Republican leadership has the votes to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her committee assignments. It’s primarily grounded in the Minnesota Democrat’s past anti-Semitic escapades, but we don’t need a reason. Democrats paved the way for these shenanigans when they got huffy about what Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) had said in the past about Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, respectively. It was weak sauce: Greene brutally torched the then-House speaker, and Gosar posted a photoshopped Attack on Titan anime video where Ocasio-Cortez was killed. That wasn’t the reason why they got removed from their committees—it’s because Democrats don’t like them. The feeling is mutual. 

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The Left established the precedent: we can remove anyone from committee assignments we don’t like. These are their parameters, so let’s play along. No points are earned or rewarded for taking the high road here—boot Omar. Yet, with such a slim majority, just a handful of defections could imperil this effort. We were approaching that political iceberg until the resolution’s language was tweaked to establish a system of due process and appeal. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) says the House GOP has the votes to purge Omar (via Axios):

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) looks to be on the cusp of avoiding another destabilizing defeat just weeks after his speaker election went to a historic 15 ballots.

Republicans had been dragging their feet on scheduling the vote, with three GOP holdouts and several more absences keeping them below the threshold they need to pass party-line bills with their five-vote majority. 

Republicans are targeting Omar, a prominent progressive and critic of Israel, over her past antisemitic remarks in the past. She apologized for some of her tweets in 2019. 

Driving the news: The Rules Committee is meeting Tuesday evening to consider the resolution kicking Omar off her committees, slating it for a vote in the House as soon as this week. 

The meeting comes after Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), who had been one of three Republicans planning to vote no, said Tuesday that she will vote for the resolution after it added language that allows members to appeal their removals from committees. 

“I appreciate Speaker McCarthy’s willingness to address legitimate concerns and add due process language to our resolution,” she said in a statement.

 Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) told Axios that Republicans have the votes.

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Yet, how Democrats try to avoid eating their past actions is grade-A entertainment. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) called Greene and Gosar’s removal “workplace violence” issues. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) also had to participate in linguistic gymnastics, which only amounted to him essentially saying it’s fine to boot committee members we don’t like. Some admit that the dangers and warnings that were brought forward by the GOP with these removals “were prescient.” Too bad. We’re in charge, and we now get to say who goes, and it can and should be because we hate these people. That’s a good enough reason for me (via Jewish Insider):

Democrats, particularly those otherwise critical of Omar, have expressed concerns in recent days about the majority party removing minority party members from committees. Democrats were the first to make such a move in the previous Congress with Greene and Gosar and some Democrats have recently appeared to express regrets about the way that process was handled. 

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) said during the Rules hearing, “I do concede that some of the warnings about the dangers” of removing Greene and Gosar offered by Republicans at the time “were prescient.”

Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), who is now the ranking member of the Ethics Committee, said “I don’t think that it was the correct process” to remove Greene and Gosar without going through standard Ethics Committee procedures, and alluded to conversations with colleagues on the subject at the time. Wild was not a leader of the Ethics Committee at that time. 

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) told JI yesterday he doesn’t think “Republicans should be telling Democrats who to put on committees.” Pressed on whether it was a mistake for Democrats to have done the same previously, Sherman paused before saying that “it was not consistent with the way the institution had been run in the past,” before adding that “there are obviously extreme circumstances.” 

Democrats have also distinguished the Greene and Gosar cases from Omar by arguing that the two Republicans’ removals were a response to what they described as threats of and incitement to violence against fellow lawmakers, rather than their views or comments. 

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), the vice chair of the Democratic Caucus, called the Gosar and Greene removals “a workplace violence issue.”

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Own it, liberals. Just own it. But I also want to thank you because you’ve created yet another area where brazen partisanship makes clear and wipes clean the bipartisan, kumbaya nonsense. It’s about power. Accumulating power to overwhelm your opponent; Democrats have been doing it for decades, yet the GOP is beyond slow in recognizing that trend.  

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