House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing internal pushback over his decision to oust Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ilhan Omar from their committee assignments.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Rep. Victoria Spartz, an ostensible Republican, argued that McCarthy should not repeat the same bad behavior that was exhibited by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she unilaterally removed Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committee assignments two years ago.
“Two wrongs do not make a right. Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the Minority without proper due process again,” she said.
“As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again. Speaker McCarthy needs to stop ‘bread and circuses’ in Congress and start governing for a change,” she added.
Rep. Spartz issued a statement on proposed committee removals of Democrats without proper due process urging @SpeakerMcCarthy to stop “bread and circuses” in Congress and start governing for a change.
Two wrongs do not make a right. https://t.co/a6sZhW6V52
— Rep. Victoria Spartz (@RepSpartz) January 24, 2023
McCarthy also faced some opposition from Reps. Nancy Mace, David Valadao, and Andy Barr, all three of whom had pushed back against his plans in statements made late last month to Axios.
“I’m not going to support it. I try to be consistent in my values … regardless of who’s in charge,” Mace said.
“I’ve never been a fan of that. Members are elected by their districts. … To throw them off just seems inappropriate,” Valadao added.
“I don’t think tit for tat is necessary here. We should be better than what the Democrats were,” Barr said.
But because Democrats had sought to place Schiff and Swalwell on the high-ranking Intelligence Committee, McCarthy was able to unilaterally reject their appointments with or without support. And so he did.
“I appreciate the loyalty you have to your Democrat colleagues, and I acknowledge your efforts to have two Members of Congress reinstated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” he wrote in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries that he posted to Twitter late Tuesday.
“But I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more,” he added.
I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee.
I am committed to returning the @HouseIntel Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people. pic.twitter.com/ePxlbanxta
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
As for Omar, because she’s been assigned to the Foreign Services Committee, McCarthy will not be able to oust her unliterally. He’ll have to hold a vote.
However, he’s already facing renewed pushback from Mace, who told CNN’s Manu Raju that she’s likely to oppose any attempt by him to oust Omar.
“I’m going to treat everybody equally. I want to be consistent on it,” she said.
Nancy Mace signaled she is likely to oppose measure to boot Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs, noting she opposed kicking Marjorie Taylor Greene and Gosar from spots
“I’m going to treat everybody equally,” she told me. “I want to be consistent on it.”
GOP can only lose four R votes https://t.co/MHUoPcv8y5
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 23, 2023
Dovetailing back to Schiff and Swalwell, they haven’t been taking their ouster well. In fact, they’ve been kvetching nonstop on Twitter.
“Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee. This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump. If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is. I will always defend our democracy,” Schiff tweeted late Tuesday.
“This rejection is based on a claim that the Washington Post independent-fact checker gave 4 Pinocchios. Speaker Boehner and Ryan, both Gang of 8 members, appointed me to Intel with access to the same facts McCarthy is distorting. He can keep me off Intel, but I’m not going away,” Swalwell likewise tweeted.
The so-called “claim” he referenced is the fact-based observation that he was once targeted by a Chinese spy earlier in his career.
Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar also released a joint statement bellyaching about their ousters.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy has capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of the Congress, and harming our national security in the process,” they said.
“He struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win the Speakership, a bargain that required political vengeance against the three of us,” the Democrats continued.
Joint statement from Reps. Swalwell, Schiff and Omar says McCarthy “struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win the Speakership, a bargain that required political vengeance against the three of us.” pic.twitter.com/wwgtvhEDXH
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) January 25, 2023
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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