House Speaker Kevin McCarthy formally denied Democratic representation on Tuesday. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell are members of the House Intelligence Committee.
In a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, McCarthy wrote: “I thank you for your loyalty to your fellow Democrats, and I acknowledge what you have done to restore two members of Congress to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. effort.” posted on twitter Tuesday night.
“But I cannot put party loyalty above national security, nor can I simply use length of service as the sole criterion for membership on this important committee. Integrity is more important.”
After the Democratic-led House ousts Republican representatives in 2021, McCarthy cited Democrats’ “new standards” as why he wanted to strip Schiff and Swalwell, both from California, of their committees. Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona’s Paul Gosar from their inflammatory speech and post committees.
In the letter, McCarthy added, “My assessment is that the misuse of the panel during the 116th and 117th Congress has seriously undermined its primary national security and surveillance missions — ultimately making our country less safe,” he said. Hopefully the group will be one of “true honesty and credibility to regain the trust of the American people.”
Swalwell called it “political vengeance” after the spokesman reiterated his pledge earlier Tuesday to kick him out of the intelligence committee.
“It’s political revenge, which is too bad because the committee has always been a bipartisan committee, and he took one of the most precious glassware in the cabinet of Congress and smashed it, and the damage will be irreparable,” Stein said. Varwell said, adding, “If a Democrat advocates violence against another member of Congress, I would support removing them.”
Schiff told reporters, “If McCarthy thinks this will prevent me from vigorously opposing his efforts to dismantle these institutions, he will find out how wrong he is.”
“I think it’s a bad move on his part and shows once again that McCarthy is just pandering to the most extreme elements of this meeting,” he added.
Schiff will serve on the Judiciary Committee, while Swalwell told CNN he will serve on the judiciary and homeland security panels, according to Democratic aides.
Two House Republicans publicly condemned McCarthy’s move to remove Democrats from the intelligence team. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, a swing district, called the kicking of committee members “corrosive,” while Rep. Victoria Spaatz of Indiana said in a statement that she was opposed to overthrowing the Democratic Party.
“I appreciate these members of the Republican Party speaking out against what McCarthy is doing,” Schiff later told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”
“I think it does show that some Republicans understand that it’s very ill-considered. It just hurts the institution, it’s unreasonable,” he added. “These efforts are not bipartisan at all. In fact, there is bipartisan opposition to it.”
McCarthy also announced Tuesday his list of Republican appointees to serve on the federal government’s special subcommittee on weaponization, including the Ohio Republican congressman. Jim Jordan served as chairman.
Republican representative. Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Chip Roy of Texas, who initially opposed McCarthy in the speaker’s race, also won seats in the group. Democrats will also have the opportunity to appoint members.
The speaker also announced the appointment of a special subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic, of which Green was selected.
Due to “overwhelming interest” from members, McCarthy expanded two select committees, appointing more people than initially expected, according to a Republican source familiar with the matter. House Republicans will have to come up with a resolution to formally revise the ratio, but that is not expected to be an issue, the source added.
This story has been updated with additional developments.