Congresspeople Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ilhan Omar released a statement Tuesday night accusing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of “political retribution” for blocking their appointments to committees. Reps. Schiff (D-Calif.), Swalwell (D-Calif.), and Omar (D-Minn.) issued a joint statement in which they said, “It is 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.”
McCarthy, R-Calif., has been at odds with the three Democrats ever since he booted them off committees of their choosing when the Republicans won control of the House and he was elected Speaker. He made a “corrupt contract” in his “desperate and nearly failed attempt to obtain the Speakership,” the Democrats said, “a bargain that needed political vengeance against the three of us.”
Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar all requested McCarthy to reverse course immediately after he made his decision, but he declined.
“McCarthy’s attempts will prove fruitless. As always, we will be vocal in our condemnation of extremism and unyielding in our defense of democracy “Democratic triumvirate declared.
To no avail, the three Democrats appealed to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., the highest-ranking Democrat in the House, to vouch for them.
Jeffries wrote that the senators were “eminently competent” for the role because of their background and expertise in the legislature. Members of the House Intelligence Committee include Schiff and Swalwell, while Omar sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
Not even McCarthy’s open letter in which he argued that “national security” and “integrity” above “partisan loyalty” could sway him.
McCarthy wrote to Jeffries, “I appreciate the devotion you have to your Democrat colleagues, and I acknowledge your efforts to have two Members of Congress reinstalled to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “However, I cannot prioritize partisanship before national security, and seniority alone cannot determine who sits on such an important committee. More important is maintaining one’s honesty.”
He said, “Therefore, in order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am officially rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the intelligence committee.”
McCarthy added, “It is my view that the misuse of this panel throughout the 116th and 117th Congresses significantly compromised its key national security and oversight functions — ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”
The California Republican stated, “As we enter a new Congress, I am determined to restoring the Intelligence Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that restores the faith of the American people.”
McCarthy claims that Swalwell and Schiff should not be on their respective committees because of their past relationships with suspected Chinese spies Christine Fang and Omar should not be on her committee because of her vocal opposition of Israel.
McCarthy, in his new role as speaker of the House, has promised to make Congress “more open and transparent.” He has also established investigation panels to look at the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the federal government’s use of weapons.
Republican Representatives Brad Wenstrup of Ohio serves as the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic’s chairman. Other Republicans on the panel include Representatives Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Mariannette Miller Meeks of Iowa, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Michael Cloud of Texas, Representative John Joyce of Pennsylvania, Representatives Taylor Greene of Georgia, Ronny Jackson of Texas, and Representative Rich McCormick of Georgia.
Reps. Darrell Issa (CA), Thomas Massie (KY), Chris Stewart (UT), Elise Stephanik (NY), Mike Johnson (LA), Chip Roy (TX), Kelly Armstrong (ND), Greg Steube (FL), Dan Bishop (NC), Kat Cammack (WA), and Harriet Hageman (WY) make up the Republican majority on the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
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