George Santos unsure of Ilhan Omar’s departure from foreign affairs panel

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The GOP wants to remove Ilhan Omar from a committee over years-old comments deemed anti-Semitic. Two Republicans said they would not vote for the resolution, which is expected in the coming weeks. George Santos, who lied about being the Jewish descendant of Holocaust survivors, is undecided. Something is loading.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar’s continued service on the House Foreign Affairs Committee may ultimately be decided, in part, by George Santos.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to hold a vote in the coming weeks on a resolution that would remove the Minnesota Democrat from the committee, citing comments she made years ago about supporting Americans to Israel.

But two Republicans – Representatives Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Victoria Spartaz of Indiana – said they would oppose the effort.

And Santos — who admitted to lying about his alleged Jewish background by saying he just said “Jewish” — told Insider at the Capitol on Wednesday he hadn’t decided how he would vote on the issue.

“That’s a good question,” Santos said. “I do not know.”

Santos, who is currently battling allegations that he once performed drag in Brazil, was then interrupted by a man filming with his cellphone who asked the Long Island congressman who he thought would win this season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

“I haven’t watched this season of Drag Race,” Santos replied.

As he rode an elevator, Santos reiterated that he hadn’t decided how he would vote for Omar.

“Not yet. No,” he said. “But we’ll get back to you, we’ll get back to you.”

McCarthy can only lose a handful of Republican votes on the resolution in a tightly divided House, and several other Republicans have said they are undecided. Democrats are expected to remain united in voting to keep Omar on the committee.

This makes Santos’ decision on the matter crucial for Omar’s future.

Santos, who once claimed to be a “proud Jew” and the descendant of Holocaust survivors, admitted to lying about this aspect of his past after news reports revealed it was a fabrication. Some fellow Republicans cited this particular lie when calling on him to resign from Congress.

The effort to block Omar from serving in Foreign Affairs is part of a broader effort by McCarthy to deny committee seats to Democrats, partly in retaliation for a bipartisan voting duo that knocked out Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committees on violent rhetoric in the last Congress.

McCarthy also formally rejected the nominations of Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California to the House Standing Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday, accusing Schiff of lying to the public ahead of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment and pointing to the brief association of Swalwell with a Chinese spy.

As Speaker of the House, McCarthy has the unilateral ability to reject Jeffries’ picks for any select committee, but must put the votes of the Foreign Affairs Committee to a full vote.

McCarthy and other Republicans pointed to comments Omar made about Israel during her first term, when she insinuated that American support for the Jewish nation was rooted primarily in money. Many members of Congress, including some Democrats, said the comments were anti-Semitic.

Omar apologized at the time and on Wednesday called the effort to remove her from the committee a “political stunt”.

-Representing. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) January 25, 2023

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