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Rep. Ken Buck, a R-Colo., speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, on Jan, 11, 2023.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.Ting Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Third Republican opposes ousting Omar from committee, endangering GOP effort

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., says keeping members from committees would be engaging in a "tit for tat."


The GOP effort to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee took another blow Friday, with Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., pledging to oppose it.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has pledged to remove the Minnesota Democrat from the panel for past comments that he characterized as antisemitic. That would require a full House vote, and Buck's statement Friday means McCarthy likely cannot afford to lose any more Republican votes if he wants Omar removed.

“I think that we should not engage in this tit for tat. I am opposed to the selection — or the removal — of Congresswoman Omar from committees,” Buck said in an interview on Meet the Press NOW.

Buck said he had "a little bit less certainty" about McCarthy's decision to bar California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, which McCarthy could do as Speaker.

"It’s a little bit different than a regular committee," Buck said, "but I’m going to think through that and make a decision.”

Omar was once again named to the Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday, setting up a potential standoff.

GOP Reps. Victoria Spartz of Indiana and Nancy Mace of South Carolina have also said they would oppose removing Omar from the committee. With Florida GOP Rep. Greg Steube recovering from a recent fall, McCarthy likely cannot lose more than three GOP votes for the effort to pass.

Buck also weighed in on Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s re-election on Friday, saying the split within the GOP over who to lead the party is "healthy."

"I think there’s always going to be in the Republican Party conflict," Buck said, "There’s always going to be people who are not satisfied without a 100% win and even if they get 100% win, they’re still not going to be satisfied so it doesn’t bother me. To me it’s a healthy political process to have a primary, a healthy political process to have opposition."