Kevin McCarthy will make good on Republican threats to kick Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee, as well as blocking Ilhan Omar from serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The move is likely payback for former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stripping GOP Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committee assignments during the 117th Congress.
Republicans warned that Democrats would regret down the road deciding to dictate who serves on what committees. If operating under usual precedent, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries would offer their names to the respective committees and McCarthy would approve.
Speaker McCarthy, however, told Punchbowl News that he’s already made the case against all three far-left representatives earning spots on these high-profile committees.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to make good on his threat to operate in a Congress Democrats created last term by blocking far-left representatives from serving on the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees
McCarthy will prevent Eric Swalwell (left) and Adam Schiff (right) from serving on the Intelligence Committees. The Speaker claims that Swlawell ‘can’t get a security clearance in the private sector’ and that Schiff has ‘lied too many times to the American public’
‘It’s not like it’s anything new,’ McCarthy said. ‘Remember, this is what Nancy Pelosi – this is the type of Congress she wanted to have.’
‘Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector,’ he added of his fellow California lawmaker. ‘I’m not going to give him a government security clearance,’
He continued: ‘Schiff has lied too many times to the American public. He should not be on Intel.’
All three lawmakers say they haven’t engaged in wrongdoing and should not be removed from their committees.
However, Swalwell has faced questions over his ties to a Chinese spy named Fang Fang.
The woman helped Swalwell raise money for his 2014 campaign – and while the California Democrat said he cut all ties to the alleged spy, it was shown that he remained friends with her on Facebook long after a FBI briefing on her ties to China.
Omar, for her part, has shared a slew anti-Semitic comments and sentiments, which were even criticized by other Democrats.
McCarthy will also move to stop Rep. Ilhan Omar from serving on the Foreign Affairs panel
After the rules package passed Monday night, the next big fight is shaping up to be a partisan brawl on the floor regarding committee assignments – following more than a week of Republican bickering and chaos over who should be Speaker and what rules should govern the House in the 118th Congress.
It took 15 rounds of voting last week for Republicans to finally decide that they were OK with handing McCarthy the Speaker’s gavel.
McCarthy has been vowing since 2021 to block Swalwell, Schiff and Omar from spots on the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees.
Multiple Democratic leadership sources claim that the plan is to still name Schiff and Swalwell to Intel and Omar to Foreign Affairs, according to Punchbowl.
Meanwhile, Republicans will place Greene, Gosar and the latest controversial GOP Representative George Santos to committees. Democrats, who are now in the minority, can’t do anything to stop it.
Greene was booted off the Budget and then Education and Labor panels in February 2021 over a series of offensive comments she made before being elected to Congress – including pushing conspiracy theories about Jewish people.
The Democratic resolution to remove her from her committee was backed by 11 House Republicans, as well.
It’s expected that McCarthy will place the Georgia Representative on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, among other potential panel assignments.
The blocks against Democratic lawmakers from their preferred panels makes good on McCarthy’s threat to act in the same way that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi did when she removed far-right Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (left) and Paul Gosar (right) from their committee assignments in the 117th Congress
Freshman representative George Santos, who has been accused of being a pathological liar, will also receive committee assignments despite being under criminal investigation
Gosar was censured and stripped of his committee seats in the last Congress after he posted on social media a bizarre animated video depicting violent acts toward progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden.
‘They promised me that if I wanted to stay on Natural Resources and Oversight, I could stay,’ Gosar said regarding his future under new GOP leadership.
It’s unclear what committees Santos could serve on, but the freshman lawmaker has been proven a pathological liar after flubbing large parts of his resume. He is currently under criminal investigation.
McCarthy, as Speaker, can unilaterally block Schiff and Swalwell from serving on the Intel panel, but the House will need to act in full against Omar serving on Foreign Affairs.
All three Democrats claim they have done nothing wrong and are being unfairly targeted by Republican leaders.
Republicans have long said they planned to remove Omar, a Somali-born progressive, from the Foreign Affairs Committee if they won a majority in the House.
Omar, who has been in Congress since 2017, claims Republicans ‘made it their mission to use fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism to target me on the House Floor and through millions of dollars of campaign ads.’
Schiff, who led the first House impeachment trial against Donald Trump, has attacked McCarthy over the threat to block him from the Intelligence panel, claiming the new Speaker ‘will adhere to the wishes of Marjorie Taylor Greene.
McCarthy and Democratic Leader Jeffries have not yet worked out the ratios for House committees as of Monday night, which could be a process that takes several days in and of itself.
The agreement was delayed due to the floor fight McCarthy faced during the Speaker vote last week.