Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) has been stripped of her place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee after a party-line vote. The ousting was expected. It was also promised by newly minted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who claimed, along with many others, that Omar has made numerous anti-Semitic comments. McCarthy said after the 218-211 vote that he is now seeking to create a bipartisan group to draft a code of conduct for House members. The Devil is, as ever, in the detail, and what shape this across-the-aisle group might take leaves open the distinct possibility of political gamesmanship.
An Indecent Proposal?
“I’m going to put a group of Democrats that [House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)] will select and a group of Republicans, and we’ll work to come and clarify the rules and pass something for not only this Congress but future congresses as well,” McCarthy told reporters immediately after the House session.
Notably, the House already has a set of rules to govern its members, although these largely pertain to financial regulation. The present code also suggests that representatives “behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” And yet this single sentence can be interpreted in many ways and fails to highlight what specific behaviors do not qualify as ” creditably.”
Along with himself, McCarthy has indicated that GOP Reps. Nancy Mace (SC) and Ken Buck (CO) will be on the panel. He said that he had asked Jeffriees to personally join and to “select a couple of members along with himself.” Surely a party leader looking for revenge and political points wouldn’t use such an invitation to rock the boat?
Potential Revenge for Ilhan Omar
Jeffries could include any member he sees fit to sit on the team; if McCarthy refuses his choices, the whole affair will be a non-starter and become a political cudgel with which to beat the GOP leader. While it would be unfair to suggest that elected politicians revel in the idea of upsetting their opponent’s applecarts, it would be all too simple to announce that Omar herself is his top pick to join the merry band.
“I think what we should do is put into the rules that there is a code of conduct here, but I don’t know the definition, exactly what all that’s going to mean. I think that should be clear,” McCarthy said. Well, there’s the rub: what will a disparate group of lawmakers deem “acceptable conduct” when each side claims the other is extremist?
Not a single Democrat voted to remove Omar from her committee assignment. Therefore, they either don’t believe her remarks could be construed as anti-Semitic, think they are but don’t care, or are unwilling to play by McCarthy’s rules and voted “no” out of hand. This suggests that no agreement on the Minnesota rep’s ousting will be forthcoming.
If the final code of conduct deems Omar’s remarks were not in breach of the rules, how can McCarthy justify keeping her off the committee?
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the House speaker is privy to damaging information that the Democrat leadership is not, and that what he knows could be used to cause mayhem once the bipartisan rules are in place. But this is an unlikely gambit that could easily blow up in the House speaker’s face.
McCarthy appears to be taking a significant risk in forming the bipartisan panel. Either it fails to come to an agreement, in which case he gets the blame, or it reaches a consensus that Democrats view as favorable to themselves. It is a power wager with extremely long odds. George Washington once noted, “Gambling is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.” It is almost certainly the lure of mischief that will bring Democrat leadership to the gaming table.
Do you have an opinion about this article? We’d love to hear it! If you send your comments to [email protected], we might even publish your edited remarks in our new feature, LN Readers Speak Out. Remember to include the title of the article along with your name, city, and state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here.
Liberty Nation Today:
McCaul Strives to Get to the Bottom of the Afghanistan Debacle - House Foreign Affairs Committee demands secretary of state produce documents. - Read Now!
The First Domino in a Banking Burnout? – LN Radio Videocast - Stopping the spread. - Watch Now!
San Francisco: Crime and No Punishment - CNN reporters found out firsthand that San Francisco’s crime policies don’t work. - Read Now!
Are Alvin Bragg’s Dreams of Indictment Derailing? - Delays and cautions could signal the end of the whole show. - Read Now!
Lone Wolf: No one’s Joining Naomi Wolf’s Apology to Conservatives - The silence is deafening, and here’s why. - Read Now!