2 House Republicans caught saying Ilhan Omar removal was the 'stupidest vote in world' before begging reporters to not tell GOP leadership what they said
By Warren Rojas,Brent D. Griffiths,
House Republicans removed Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from one of her committees on Thursday.
The party-line vote struck at least a pair of GOP members as a dumb move.
The dejected duo called it the "stupidest vote" and panned leadership for making Omar a "martyr."
Two disillusioned House Republicans unloaded on their vengeful leadership for inadvertently making a hero out of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar by publicly stripping her of a high-profile committee assignment in what one deemed the "stupidest vote in the world."
The not-so-private condemnation of Speaker Kevin McCarthy's campaign to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs panel happened after Republicans clinched the retaliatory strike on a party-line vote of 218-211.
As they rode the elevator away from the House floor, congressional newspaper Roll Call reported that Foreign Affairs Committee GOP member Ken Buck and Republican Rep. Mike Simpson reflected on what had just transpired and decided it was a boneheaded move.
After Buck decreed it the "stupidest" political move, Simpson said the expulsion would probably make the Minnesota Democrat into a "martyr."
After airing their grievances, the pair reportedly asked those around them "not to let leadership know their thoughts."
Buck and Simpson's offices did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The polarizing ouster only fell into place after McCarthy won over a handful of Republicans who had voiced objections to the effort — including Republican Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Victoria Spartz of Indiana — by promising to reform internal punishment procedures moving forward.
Incensed Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York denounced the entire process as hypocrisy writ large.
"Don't tell me that this is about a condemnation of anti-Semitic remarks, when you have a member of the Republican caucus who has talked about Jewish space lasers, and also elevated her to some of the highest committee assignments in this body," Ocasio-Cortez said on the floor, referring to Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. "This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America."
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