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McCarthy announces task force plan to remove members from committees

By Savannah Hamilton
|
February 26, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) is moving forward with his plan to install a bipartisan committee in charge of removing lawmakers from their posts. McCarthy’s office confirmed the decision on Friday.

The task force will determine a fair method for determining if a representative should be kept in their respective committee seat or not, without any interference from political bias.

The idea for the panel came after McCarthy received backlash for removing Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05) from the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Adam Schiff (CA-30) and Eric Swalwell (CA-14) from the House Intelligence Committee, which Democrats claimed to be “political vengeance.”

Considering that Republican representatives have also been removed from their seats, many find said claim absurd.

McCarthy believes that having a bipartisan committee to resolve future conflicts will prevent unnecessary bickering between the two parties.

How It Started

Democrats are arguing that McCarthy’s actions are a means of retribution for removing Republican representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14) and Paul Gosar (AZ-09) from their committee seats earlier on.

Both Greene and Gosar were removed from their committees back in 2021 for expressing what many have described as “extremist opinions.”

Since McCarthy took his position as Speaker, Greene has returned to the Homeland Security Committee, and Gosar has rejoined the Natural Resources Committee.

McCarthy believes having a separate committee make any future decisions will be better in the long run.

However, the reinstatement of both Greene and Gosar makes others skeptical of McCarthy’s intentions.

Revenge?

Democrats first started firing back at McCarthy for being unfair after his decision to oust Schiff and Swalwell in January. Both of the Californian representatives were deemed a security risk by the Speaker..

Considering the many classified documents the two would be exposed to, McCarthy labeled Swalwell and Omar as “unqualified” for the position.

“McCarthy told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday that he would forge ahead with removing the two lawmakers over Swalwell's association with a Chinese spy  and Schiff's promotion of the Steele dossier,”  as reported by Axios.

Omar was removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee in February, after she repeatedly voiced criticism towards Israel.

“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,” McCarthy wrote in a letter, adding, “It is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congresses severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions – ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”

Who Will Be Involved?

Some of the members set to join McCarthy’s new committee include Republican representatives Nancy Mace (SC-01), David Joyce (OH-14), Tom Cole (OK-04), and Ken Buck (CO-04).

On the Democratic side, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) has nominated  Jim McGovern (MA-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Nikema Williams (GA-05). 

No confirmation has been issued on who will or will not be joining the committee yet.