Democratic Party Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, known for her frequent anti-India tirade, has been voted out of the powerful foreign affairs committee by the Republican-majority House of Representatives, a move that was quickly condemned by the White House.
The House voted to remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee with 218 to 211 votes on the party lines.
"We just do not believe when it comes to foreign affairs, especially the responsibility of that position around the world with the comments that you make. She (Illhan Omar) shouldn't serve there," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters after the vote Thursday.
Omar delivers defiant, emotional speech
In her defiant speech, Omar, a former Somali refugee, said, "Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced? Frankly, it is expected because when you push power, power pushes back."
Who Is Ilhan Omar?
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 4, 1982. The politician grew up in the Somalian town of Baidoa and was raised by her father and grandfather after her mother died when Omar was two.
Omar's father, grandfather, uncles, and aunts were all civil servants. The family fled Somalia to avoid the Somali Civil War, spending four years in the Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County, Kenya, before seeking asylum in the United States.
The family moved to New York in 1995, then to Arlington, Virginia, before settling in Minneapolis, where her father worked as a taxi driver and later for the post office.
Omar is the first Somali American and the first naturalised citizen of African descent to serve in the United States Congress, as well as the first woman of colour to represent Minnesota. She is the only Muslim woman in Congress, aside from Rashida Tlaib.
Omar began her career as a nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota in the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area from 2006 to 2009. In 2016, she ran for office for the first time on a DLF ticket.
She had previously offered help in the campaigns of other representatives and worked as a Senior Policy Aide from 2013 to 2015. By September 2015, she was the Women Organizing Women Network's Director of Policy Initiatives, advocating for East African women to take on civic and political roles.
She has always been vocal in her criticism of a variety of issues, including the accessibility of education, issues confronting the LGBTQ community, among others.
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