House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he plans to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and other Democrat lawmakers off of their current committee assignments if Republicans gain a majority in the House of Representatives after the 2022 elections.
McCarthy revealed his plans in a not-yet-released December interview with Breitbart first previewed on Monday. During the interview, McCarthy said Republicans would use similar standards as Democrats have done in recent months to exclude certain Republican lawmakers from key committee positions. In recent months, Democrats led efforts that kicked Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) off of their committees.
Omar has seen criticism from Republican lawmakers after videos surfaced of her describing the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. as an event where “some people did something.” In a 2013 interview, reported by Fox News, Omar also appeared to joke about people using an intense tone when referring to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
In June of last year, Omar also compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, asserting that each group has committed “unthinkable atrocities.” She later claimed her comparison was not one of moral equivalence.
Omar currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and, according to Breitbart, Republicans have long wanted her off the committee.
“Ilhan Omar should not be serving on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy told Breitbart. “This is a new level of what the Democrats have done.”
During the interview, McCarthy said he would also work to block Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) from their spots on the House Intelligence Committee.
“The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who can be on committees,” McCarthy said. “Never in the history [of Congress] have you had the majority tell the minority who can be on committee.”
In December 2020, Axios reported that a Chinese national named Fang Fang, or Christine Fang, is believed to have targeted several up and coming California lawmakers, including Swalwell. Current and former U.S. intelligence officials, and one former elected official, told Axios that Fang was able to get close to the U.S. politicians through campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and even through romantic and sexual relationships. According to the Axios report, Fang organized fundraising efforts for Swalwell and helped place at least one intern in his office.
Swalwell has denied any wrongdoing in his ties with Fang, but Republican lawmakers have continued to criticize the relationship.
McCarthy told Breitbart, “This new standard which these Democrats have voted for—if Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the private sector, there is no reason why he should be given one to be on Intel or Homeland Security. He will not be serving there.”
Schiff is another Democrat lawmaker who has drawn Republican ire in recent years. In 2019, Schiff caught criticism for reading off a parody of a controversial phone call between then-President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during a Democrat-led impeachment effort. Republicans also signed a letter calling for Schiff’s resignation from the intelligence committee after continuing to insist he knew of “significant evidence of collusion” between Trump and Russia in the 2016 election, despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller finding no such evidence after a two-year investigation.
“You look at Adam Schiff—he should not be serving on Intel when he has openly, knowingly now used a fake dossier, lied to the American public in the process and doesn’t have any ill will [and] says he wants to continue to do it,” McCarthy told Breitbart.
“Think about what happened in Afghanistan. Why did Afghanistan collapse so fast? Was the Intel Committee under Adam Schiff focused on impeachment and not on the safety of America?” McCarthy continued. “Why are people coming across the border that are on a terrorist watch list? What are they doing about it? Their own members on that committee say it’s not happening when it’s true. We need to have an Intel Committee that looks at what’s happening around the world and keeps America safe. It should do exactly what it was created [to do]—overseeing of our agencies and others. We’re going to hold people to a higher standard in the process if they want to be on the Intel Committee and the training to be a part of it. Take the politics out of it.”