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Republicans remove Ilhan Omar from House foreign affairs committee – live

Ilhan Omar ousted from House foreign affairs committee

The House of Representatives has voted to oust Minnesota Democratic representative Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The vote comes after the House approved Democratic assignments for the powerful foreign affairs committee which included Omar.

Once McCarthy learned of the assignments, he told reporters, “Oh, so now we can vote her off,” the Hill reports.

Republicans claim to have removed Omar due to her previous criticisms of Israel.

Republican representative Max Miller said in a statement that Omar “cannot be an objective decision-maker on the foreign affairs committee given her biases against Israel and against the Jewish people.”

Omar, herself the target of anti-Muslim bigotry since taking office, said last week that the decision to oust her was “purely partisan”.

She added that the move is “also a blow to the integrity of our democratic institutions and a threat to our national security”.

Key events

As transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg said on Thursday that he is “not planning on going anywhere.”

In an interview with Punchbowl News two years after his cabinet confirmation, Buttigieg said, “I don’t have any plans to do any job besides the one I’ve got” and that he has “the best job in the federal government.”

He told the outlet that his tenure with the the transportation department is “above his pay grade” and that he works at the “pleasure of the president for the time being.”

“I love this job and I feel like we’re right in the middle of the action,” he said. “I’m not planning on going anywhere because we’re smack in the middle of historic work,” he added.

Buttigieg heads a department that has distributed $159.70 billion across its 11 sub-components in fiscal year 2023.

Florida Republican senator Rick Scott said that he does not think that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to remove him from the Senate Commerce Committee “made any sense.”

“I’m going to keep doing my job… I put out a plan. He completely opposed me putting out a plan,” Scott told CNN, referring to a plan he announced last year that would have subjected all “government bureaucrats” to a 12-year term limit, shut down the Department of Education, and slashed the federal workforce by 25% within five years, among other proposals.

Last year, Scott also unsuccessfully challenged McConnell for his Senate leadership position after he felt that McConnell did not do enough to lay out the GOP Senate governing agenda prior to Election Day, the Hill reports.

“He didn’t like that I opposed him because I believe we have to have ideas – fight over ideas. And so, he took [Utah Republican senator] Mike Lee and I off the committee,” Scott told CNN.

President Joe Biden called for cooperation and respect at the National Prayer Breakfast where he said that he and House speaker Kevin McCarthy will “treat each other with respect.”

“Let’s just sort of, kind of, join hands again a little bit. Let’s start treating each other with respect. That’s what Kevin and I are going to do,” said Biden, the Hill reports.

“Not a joke, we had a good meeting yesterday. I think we got to do it across the board. It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree and fight like hell. But let’s treat each other with respect,” he added.

Biden went on urge Americans to “look out for one another” amidst a slew of mass shootings, extreme weather conditions and frequent incidents of police brutality.

“In our politics and our lives, we too often see each other as opponents and not competitors. We see each other as enemies, not neighbors. And as tough as these times have been, if we look closer, we see the strength, the determination that has long defined America,” he said.

President Biden and Vice President Harris Attend the 2023 National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, District of Columbia, USA – 02 Feb 2023. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Top economic adviser to exit White House

President Joe Biden has confirmed the departure of his top economic adviser Brian Deese from the White House.

In a statement on Thursday, Biden announced that Deese will be stepping down from his role as director of the National Economic Council in the coming days.

“For the past two years, I have relied on Brian Deese to help me do just that. Brian has a unique ability to translate complex policy challenges into concrete actions that improve the lives of American people. He has helped steer my economic vision into reality, and managed the transition of our historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth,” Biden said.

He went on to cite Deese’s critical role in the passage of various agendas including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as the CHIPS and Science Act.

“I am grateful to his wife Kara and his children Adeline and Clark for letting us borrow Brian. I know well what it must have been like to say goodbye to him for the regular long commute to Washington, and I know they’re excited to welcome him home,” he added.

Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, listens as US President Joe Biden, not pictured, speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, listens as US President Joe Biden, not pictured, speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Photograph: ABACA/REX/Shutterstock

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she will endorse Democratic representative Adam Schiff for California senate if senator Diana Feinstein decides to not run again.

In a statement released by Pelosi and reported by Politico, Pelosi wrote:

“If Senator Feinstein decides to seek re-election, she has my whole-hearted support. If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who knows well the nexus between a strong Democracy and a strong economy,” she said.

“In his service in the House, he has focused on strengthening our Democracy with justice and on building an economy that works for all,” she added.

Pelosi’s announcement comes a week after Adam Schiff announced the launch of his campaign for California senate.

Ahead of the meeting with president Joe Biden later today, the Congressional Black Caucus released a statement regarding its request to meet Biden following the death of Tyre Nichols who died after being brutally beaten by five Memphis police officers last month.

On behalf of CBC members, CBC chairman and Democratic Nevada representative Steven Horsford wrote:

“The Congressional Black Caucus takes its role to advocate for the safety and protection of the people in our communities very seriously.

To that end, CBC is requesting a meeting with the President this week to push for negotiations on much needed national reforms to our justice system – specifically, the actions and conduct of our law enforcement…

We are calling on our colleagues in the House and Senate to jumpstart negotiations now and work with us to address the public health epidemic of police violence that disproportionately affects many of our communities,” it added.

Democratic representative Ilhan Omar tweeted a expletive-filled threat that her office received last week, writing, “These threats increase whenever Republicans put a target on my back.”

She added that there is a “very real human cost” to Republican attacks against women of color like herself.

Btw as horrific as this is to listen to, I share it because the Republican Party (and the public) need to know that there is a very real human cost to their continued targeting of women of color, not just to me but to those who share my identities.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 2, 2023

The tweet comes amid attempts by new House Republicans seeking to oust Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Last Tuesday, House speaker Kevin McCarthy blocked California Democratic representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from rejoining the House Intelligence Committee.

Last Congress, Democrats removed Georgia’s Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona’s Paul Gosar from their committee assignments following incendiary remarks they made about their colleagues.

Biden to discuss police reform with Congressional Black Caucus

Good morning, US politics blog readers. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris are scheduled to meet members of the Congressional Black Caucus this afternoon to discuss police reform.

The meeting comes a day after Tyre Nichols’ funeral where Harris urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that would address police brutality and racial profiling. Politico reports that CBC members are preparing a list of executive actions that they want to see the Biden administration take.

Among the attendees will be California Democratic representative Maxine Waters. In a statement reported by Politico, Waters said”: “I’m not optimistic. I’m not confident that we are going to be able to get real police reform … I approach working on this issue as a responsibility that I have to do – that we must try.”

Here’s what else we can expect today:

  • The House of Representatives is expected to vote on whether to remove Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar from the House foreign affairs committee, an apparent move about her former criticisms towards Israel but according to Democrats, about “spite” for removal of far-right extremists in the former Congress.

  • Biden and former president Bill Clinton will convene at the White House to mark the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act – the 1993 legislation that guaranteed US workers up to 12 unpaid weeks off to recover from illnesses or childbirth.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will deliver a press briefing at 12.45pm EST.

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