A leopard can’t change its spots, but it can be trained to jump through a burning ring at the behest of its masters. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is hardly controlled, but concessions won by Republican critics, like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Texas Rep. Chip Roy, could force him to answer to GOP voters.
In the past, keeping the usual leaders, like McCarthy, in power meant the interests of influential corporate donors (ones that have enjoyed a decades-long chokehold on the GOP) would shape Republican policy. One of the reasons Republican voters flocked to former President Donald Trump in the 2015 GOP presidential primaries was his promise to fight against these donors if their interests diverged from regular Americans.
In less than a month since the House leadership elections, McCarthy made quick work of meeting the demands that got him into the speaker’s office. On top of negotiating a rules package that gives a single lawmaker the ability to force a vote to oust him from the speakership, he also agreed to curtail federal spending and create select committees investigating the weaponization of the federal government against Americans and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
They found classified documents from when Biden was a senator. I’m not even sure how that happens unless a Senator stuffs the documents in their pants or somewhere else. pic.twitter.com/yuKq1p7YPp
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
Former Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a precedent of kicking Republicans, like Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, off high-profile committee assignments during the 117th U.S. Congress. (RELATED: McCarthy May Have Won But The Establishment Took A Loss)
McCarthy said in a statement that despite it being a regular occurrence while Democrats had control of Congress, he wouldn’t be using this power to “target” their members.
“Under Democrat-control, House committees have been used to target their political opponents and reward their allies at the expense of addressing real concerns to our country. That ends with the new House Republican majority,” McCarthy said. “The Members on these committees will work to shift power back to the American people by providing oversight, transparency, and will stay laser-focused on getting ahead of our national threats.”
With this in mind and without hesitation, McCarthy removed Democratic California Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from their committees. Omar previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Schiff and Swalwell were on the House Intelligence Committee, with Schiff being the chairman.
McCarthy said Schiff and Swalwell posed national security threats and shouldn’t be privy to the confidential information given to members of the Intel committee that the rest of the House isn’t allowed to see. Schiff has repeatedly lied to the American people, dragging the nation into two presidential impeachments, and harnessed his power on the Intelligence Committee to demand tech companies censor his political opponents. Swalwell was flagged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over an alleged compromising relationship with a Chinese spy, commonly referred to as Fang Fang.
Voters are used to GOP leadership caving at the first sign of national pressure. Those in support of a party of fighters should be happy to know McCarthy didn’t back down when reporters pushed back on his decision to prevent Schiff and Swalwell Intel committee assignments.
McCarthy scoffed when a reporter asked if it was hypocritical to remove Schiff and Swalwell from their powerful positions while keeping the embattled Republican New York Rep. George Santos on his committee after he was caught lying about his background.
Holy shit. Kevin McCarthy just absolutely destroyed a reporter who questioned his decision to remove Schiff and Swalwell from the intel committee.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 25, 2023
“If you wanna talk about Swalwell, let’s talk about Swalwell,” McCarthy snapped. “Because you have not had the briefing that I had. I had the briefing and Nancy Pelosi had the briefing from the FBI.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Oklahoma Sen. Jessica Garvin Files Women’s Bill Of Rights)
He said there are “200 other Democrats that can serve” on the panel, adding that their security issues have “nothing to do with Santos” because he “is not on the Intel committee.”
“Those voters elected Schiff, even though he lied. Those voters elected Swalwell, even though he lied to the American public too. So you know what? I’ll respect his voters, too, and they’ll serve on committees, but they will not serve on a place that has national security [purpose], because integrity matters to me,” McCarthy said.
He continued defending his decision in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, saying he will not “put partisan loyalty ahead of national security.” McCarthy said the Intel committee “severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions” during the 116th and 117th Congresses that left “our nation less safe.” He added that under his speakership, he intends to return the panel to “one of genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people.”
I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
Committee assignments are essential tools to help members push legislation beneficial to their districts. McCarthy announced Monday that at least three of the five newly nominated Republican members to the House Committee on Rules are considered conservative standouts. Gaetz and others wanted members, trusted by the House Freedom Caucus, assigned to positions on powerful and influential House committees.
McCarthy nominated House Freedom Caucus members South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, Texas Rep. Chip Roy, and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie. Roy and Norman were among 21 Republicans who opposed McCarthy’s speakership.
The Rules Committee, chaired by Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, is one of the oldest standing panels in the House and is used by the speaker to maintain control of the House floor. Members on this panel determine, through special rules and original jurisdiction, which legislative measures can be brought to the floor for a vote.
Cole told Axios the Rules Committee would work together to prioritize American interests in Congress.
“I look forward to working together to restore regular order, ensure thorough debate and ultimately advance real American priorities to the House Floor,” Cole said.
“The Committee has the authority to do virtually anything during the course of consideration of a measure, including deeming it passed. The Committee can also include a self-executed amendment which could rewrite just parts of a bill or the entire measure. In essence, so long as a majority of the House is willing to vote for a special rule, there is little that the Rules Committee cannot do,” according to the Rules Committee’s website.
All but one of the 21 Republicans opposed to McCarthy have received committee assignments, including Florida Rep. Byron Donalds who ran against McCarthy for speaker. McCarthy named Donalds the “speaker’s designee” on the House Steering Committee and was nominated to the House Financial Services Committee.
#McCarthy #Finally #Changed
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