WASHINGTON- Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday blocked two Democrats from seats on the House Intelligence Committee and filled out Republican lists for newly created select committees tasked with investigating the politicization of government and the origins of the covid pandemic.
McCarthy made good on his promise to bar former House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, both California Democrats, from serving on that panel.
In a letter To House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, McCarthy said that while he appreciated the «loyalty» the Democratic leader showed his colleagues, he could not put «partisan loyalty over national security.»
“Hakeem Jeffries has another 200 people who can serve on that committee,” McCarthy told reporters early Tuesday, noting that, as a speaker, he has the authority to reject nominees for special panels like the Intelligence Committee.
In addition to keeping Schiff and Swalwell out of the Intelligence Committee, McCarthy previously said he intended to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the three Democrats said: «It is disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy has capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of Congress and damaging our national security in the process.»
The group accused McCarthy of striking “a crooked deal in his desperate and near-failed attempt to win the Presidency, a deal that required political vendetta against the three of us,” while vowing to keep speaking out about extremism as he strove to “stubbornly defend our democracy.»
McCarthy also on Tuesday named Republicans to two committees made up of Republicans after they took control of the House.
The «Federal Government Weapons» committee, which will investigate Republican allegations that the Justice Department, FBI and other law enforcement agencies are being armed to investigate conservatives like former President Donald Trump, will include Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Dan Obispo of North Carolina: Two of the 21 conservative holdouts who initially blocked McCarthy during the five-day battle over the speaker’s gavel this month.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who endorsed McCarthy but has caused GOP leadership headaches in the past, also won a seat on the panel.
Meanwhile, McCarthy appointed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who had been suspended from social media platforms for promoting misinformation about Covid, to the select committee on the coronavirus pandemic. Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican from Texas who served as Trump’s White House physician, also got the nod for the Covid panel.
Jeffries will now have the opportunity to appoint Democratic members to the special panels.
the armaments committee
Republicans have said the new weapons committee will look into allegations by the GOP that the Justice Department, FBI and other law enforcement agencies are being armed to investigate conservatives, including Trump. One matter the panel will investigate is the FBI’s search last year of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida home and resort, as agents tried to recover classified material.
“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not persecute them,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Unfortunately, throughout the one-party rule of the Democrats in Washington, we have seen a dangerous pattern in which the government is used to attack political opponents while neglecting its most basic responsibilities.”
Because the panel is a special subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, panel chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who frequently clashes with Democrats, will lead the weapons investigations.
Other notable selections for the panel include Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a former Oversight Committee chairman who launched aggressive investigations into the Obama administration more than a decade ago.
Freshman Rep. Harriet Hageman, a Wyoming Republican, who ousted Rep. Liz Cheney in a Republican primary last year, will also serve on the committee.
The rest are all McCarthy allies: GOP conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., conference vice president Mike Johnson, R-Los Angeles, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-Fla., the Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla.; and Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla.
the corona committee
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, will chair the special committee investigating the spread of the coronavirus. Wenstrup, a medic and Iraq War veteran, is credited with applying a tourniquet and saving the life of Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Republican of Los Angeles, during the 2017 congressional baseball shooting.
The others who will serve on the covid panel are Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, RN.Y., Mariannette Miller Meeks, R-Iowa, Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., John Joyce, R-Pa., and Rich McCormick, R-Georgia. .
Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, a conservative conservative who swung around to support McCarthy on the 12th of 15 ballots in the race for speaker, will also serve on the committee.
Last week, McCarthy appointed members of the Republican Party to a third select committee, focused on the competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. It is led by President Mike Gallagher, R-Wisconsin.