This article has been updated to include a video of Rep. Chip Roy's (R-TX) remarks during Tuesday night's House Rules Committee meeting.
Last Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made good on his promise to formally block Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the House Intelligence Committee. McCarthy had the power to do so as speaker, given that it's a permanent select committee involved. When it comes to preventing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from serving on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, however, the full House needs to vote on that.
Initially, it appeared as if there was going to be a math problem for McCarthy. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), for instance, released a statement last Tuesday that she would not vote to boot Omar from the committee. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) was of the same mind, as was Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) More members appear to be undecided as well.
A week later, however, the situation seemed to have changed.
In a statement shared on Tuesday afternoon, Spartz revealed that she changed her mind and was willing to vote to remove Omar from the committee. "I appreciate Speaker McCarthy's willingness to address legitimate concerns and add due process language to our resolution," Spartz shared at the beginning of her statement.
Today, Rep. Spartz issued the statement below on the resolution to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. pic.twitter.com/tiMNVUySqI— Rep. Victoria Spartz (@RepSpartz) January 31, 2023
Another member who has expressed reservations, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also raised "due process" concerns, according to CNN's Manu Raju, who spoke with the congressman.
Rep. Matt Gaetz told me that he just met with McCarthy to discuss the changes made to the resolution to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar off of Foreign Affairs.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 31, 2023
“I’m glad we are focused on due process,”Gaetz said, indicating he was waiting to see the final language before taking a position
During the fifteen rounds of voting that members went through before McCarthy was ultimately selected as speaker, Spartz went back and forth between voting for McCarthy and voting "present" before ultimately supporting him once more. Gaetz voted for another a candidate other than McCarthy up until the final round, at which point he voted "present."
The resolution to remove Omar went to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday night, with Raju noting that the vote could happen tomorrow and that the meeting is happening under "emergency" procedures to do so in an expedited manner.
House GOP releases Omar resolution. Vote could happen tomorrow. Ds say it doesn’t address due process concerns.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 31, 2023
While it says: “Whereas any Member reserves the right to bring a case before the Committee on Ethics,” it ends with this after “resolved:” https://t.co/s377PKORpu pic.twitter.com/dPqYVsGPkV
House Rules Committee meeting to take up a resolution to remove Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs is being held under "emergency" procedures, allowing the panel to move in an expedited fashion. It's the first time they've done so this year.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 31, 2023
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who serves on the House Rules Committee, offered some thoughtful points about the resolution in question in a speech that is worth watching in its entirety. Although he expressed reservations, speaking about his view "we should withdraw from that battle going forward," he ultimately did vote for the resolution, which he justified when it comes to "recognizing statements that [Omar] has made I find to be highly problematic, extremely concerning, bringing--raising very serious questions from a foreign affairs perspective."
"I would not go down this road."— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) February 1, 2023
But "when the door's opened, then there's a question and you have to decide what you're going to do. We're not going to unilaterally disarm."
More from Rep. Roy: pic.twitter.com/EEC3VAqFev
McCarthy has been talking about removing Omar from the committee for months, especially when it comes to her comments that are antisemitic and controversial in nature in other ways. While on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday along with Reps. Schiff and Swalwell, she was confronted by host Dana Bash about her comments, which she claimed, quite unbelievably, she didn't know were antisemitic. Townhall has covered her bogus explanations at length.
Despite how unbelievable Omar's defenses are, the congresswoman, who very much herself played the victim, was further shielded by The Washington Post's Philip Bump, as our friends at Twitchy highlighted.
When it comes to having the votes, it's worth reminding that it took McCarthy 15 rounds before he had enough support to become speaker. What it took was some conversation before he ultimately prevailed, something that may be the key in this major test for McCarthy.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Speaker McCarthy are nevertheless confident that they have the votes to block Omar.
“Yes,” Speaker McCarthy told me they will have enough votes to oust Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 31, 2023