House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Tuesday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should strip Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar of her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in an interview with Fox News. Omar has been accused recently of pushing anti-Semitic tropes.
House Democratic leaders plan on bringing a resolution condemning anti-Semitism to the floor Wednesday presumably because of the backlash Omar has faced. The text of the resolution reportedly does not mention her by name.
Omar has received backlash for several comments related to Israel. She recently shared her sentiments regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict and the “dual loyalty” she feels like members of Congress have to Israel over the weekend. Many of her colleagues, including some on the Foreign Affairs Committee with her, have condemned her statements.
“What do you think of this move by House Democrats introducing this resolution to condemn anti-semitism in the wake of these controversial remarks?” Smith asked in regards to Omar.
“Well, the resolution only addresses a piece of the problem. She continues to display anti-Semitic remarks, comments. These are her beliefs. And so if they really are serious about addressing the problem, Nancy Pelosi has to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Scalise answered. “She is literally getting intelligence briefings on foreign policy of the United States, including our relationship with Israel, as she makes these kind of comments where she thinks any support of Israel is denouncing your own nationality.”
Scalise’s colleague, Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, who’s on the Foreign Affairs Committee, previously told The Daily Caller that Omar should be removed from the committee.
Scalise continued, “Where does that come from? It’s a deep-rooted belief that shows the core of her convictions and again, everybody is entitled to their own beliefs. But why would you have her on a committee that important, that sensitive to our foreign policy if she has those kind of anti-semitic beliefs unless you are willing to tolerate it? And it shouldn’t be tolerated.”
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) March 4, 2019
“She received widespread criticism from many in her own party, she seems to be doubling down on her stance here and her latest tweet she seems to really just be saying that she is not mischaracterizing our relationship with Israel but she’s questioning it. To that you say what?” Smith followed up.
Well, first of all, everybody is entitled to their own beliefs. But if you want to sit on the Foreign Affairs Committee and objectively look at and help set the foreign policy of the United States of America, you shouldn’t have anti-semitic beliefs and in the way she describes this relationship, the American/Israel relationship is an incredibly special bond. It’s an incredibly bipartisan bond. Our nations have worked together in many cases in tandem on the same kind of foreign policy.