Representative Ken Buck (R., Colo.) said Friday he is opposed to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's plan to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCarthy on Tuesday made good on his promises to remove Representatives Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee. He cited Swalwell's association with a Chinese spy and Schiff's boosting of the now-debunked Steele dossier as reasons each lawmaker is unfit to serve on their assigned committee.
McCarthy has vowed to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over past anti-Semitic remarks and other controversial comments about Israel. However, Omar's ouster would require a vote of the full House.
"I think that we should not engage in this tit for tat," Buck told NBC. In 2021, Democrats stripped Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R., Ariz.) of their committee assignments.
"I am opposed to . . . the removal of Congresswoman Omar from committees," he said.
"I have a little bit less certainty about Congressman Schiff and Swalwell on Intelligence, because it's a little bit different than a regular committee, but I'm gonna think through that and make a decision," Buck added.
Buck is at least the second Republican congressman to express opposition to Omar's ouster.
Representative Victoria Spartz (R., Ind.) said earlier this week, "Two wrongs do not make a right. As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again."
Other Republicans have said they are undecided on whether to support the move, including Representatives Nancy Mace (R., S.C.) and David Valadao (R., Calif.), while Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.) has not publicly revealed how he plans to vote.
At least three Democrats - Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D., N.Y.), Jared Moskowitz (D., Fla.) and Lois Frankel (D., Fla.) - have said they have not yet made on a decision on whether to join fellow Democrats in opposing the move, per Jewish Insider.
Other Democrats came to Omar's defense earlier this week, including Representative Pete Aguilar (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic caucus, who said the caucus is "supportive of her serving in this capacity."
He called McCarthy's decision to remove Schiff and Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee "ridiculous."
"I think it's ridiculous that the speaker would kick two good members who know a lot about the intelligence world off of the committee, while at the same time seating George Santos and giving him two committee assignments," Aguilar said.
Santos, a freshman congressman from New York, was caught lying about his resume and background after his election but has rebuffed calls to resign.
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