WASHINGTON — Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday blocked two Democrats from seats on the House Intelligence Committee and filled out the GOP rosters of newly created select subcommittees charged with investigating the politicization of the government and the origins of the Covid pandemic.
McCarthy, R-Calif., made good on his promise to block former Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell — both D-Calif. — from serving on that panel.
In a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., McCarthy said that while he appreciated Jeffries’ “loyalty” to his colleagues, he could not put “partisan loyalty ahead of national security.”
McCarthy told reporters earlier Tuesday, “Hakeem Jeffries has 200 other people who can serve on that committee.” He noted that as speaker he has the authority to reject nominees for special panels like the Intelligence Committee.
In addition to keeping Schiff and Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee, McCarthy has said he intends to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the three Democrats said, “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.”
The group accused McCarthy of striking “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,” while vowing to continue to speak out about extremism while making efforts to “doggedly defend our democracy.”
McCarthy on Tuesday also named the GOP members of two select subcommittees Republicans formed after they took control of the House.
The Weaponization of the Federal Government panel, which will investigate Republican allegations that the Justice Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are being weaponized to investigate conservatives like former President Donald Trump, will include Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Dan Bishop of North Carolina — two of the 21 conservative holdouts who initially blocked McCarthy during the five-day battle over the speaker’s gavel this month.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who backed McCarthy but has caused headaches for GOP leadership in the past, also got a slot on the panel.
Meanwhile, McCarthy named Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who had been suspended from social media…