Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) officially denied House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) desire to reappoint two infamous Democrats to the House Intelligence Committee, keeping a key campaign promise.
As ABC News reported Tuesday night, McCarthy decided Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) will not be joining the Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy drafted a letter to Jeffries justifying the decision, explaining that the decision was made in the interest of promoting “integrity.”
“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,” read McCarthy’s letter. It also said the Democrats’ “misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congress severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions — ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has rejected Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries' demand to keep Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on the House Intel Committee. pic.twitter.com/7cBXMUR65b
— The Recount (@therecount) January 25, 2023
According to American Greatness, past committee assignments were typically agreed upon by the Speaker and the minority party’s leadership, with most suggested appointments going through with little resistance.
That being said, norms have been broken in recent times. When she was still House Speaker before the midterm elections, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stripped two Republicans from all of their assigned committees: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) over comments she had made before ever being involved in politics, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) because he posted an anime meme video making fun of Democrats.
McCarthy objected to both demotions, but both Republicans were ultimately booted by the Democrat House majority.
This move follows a promise by McCarthy to exercise political power against Democrat committee members who are considered to be a liability. Swalwell has been relentlessly mocked by many for his involvement with an alleged Chinese spy known as ‘Fang Fang’, infamously being credibly accused of bedding her.
The California congressman has declined to respond to questions about how deep his relationship with the alleged Chinese spy went. Meanwhile, Schiff has fielded criticisms for his repeated false claims of having “evidence” to prove that former President Donald Trump was colluding with the Russian government. No such proof has ever been presented.
McCarthy has additionally refused to allow Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a part of the Foreign Affairs Committee, citing her anti-American comments.
“What I am doing with the Intel Committee [is] bringing it back to the jurisdiction it’s supposed to do,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference. “Forward-looking to keep this country safe, keep the politics out of it. So yes, I’m doing exactly what we’re supposed to do.”