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Tipsheet

House Republicans Are Making Moves to Boot Omar From Foreign Affairs Committee

AP Photo/Jim Mone

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. 

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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. 

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. 

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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.

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." 

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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. 

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