McCarthy Officially Denies Schiff and Swalwell Seats on House Intelligence Committee | CNN Politics



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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially denied Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell seats on the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

“I appreciate your loyalty to your fellow Democrats and appreciate your efforts to have two members of Congress reinstated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, in which he said that posted on Twitter Tuesday night.

“But 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 has cited a “new standard” from Democrats whereby he would strip Schiff and Swalwell, both from California, of their committee assignments, after the Democratic-led House in 2021 removed Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from office. from Georgia and Paul Gosar from Arizona. of its committees for rhetoric and inflammatory publications.

In the letter, McCarthy added that “it is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congresses seriously undermined its primary oversight and national security missions, ultimately leaving our nation less secure,” and that he wants the panel to be one of “genuine honesty and credibility that wins back the trust of the American people.”

After the speaker vowed again on Tuesday to kick him out of the Intelligence Committee, Swalwell called it “political revenge.”

“It’s political revenge, it’s too bad because that committee has always been a bipartisan committee, and it’s taking one of the most precious pieces of glass in the cabinet of Congress and smashing it, and the damage will be irreparable,” Swalwell said. adding that “if a Democrat advocates violence against another member of Congress, I would support getting rid of him.”

Schiff told reporters that “if McCarthy thinks this will prevent me from forcefully rejecting his efforts to bring down these institutions, he will find out how wrong he is.”

“I think this is a terrible move on his part and once again shows that McCarthy only caters to the most extreme elements of this conference,” he added.

Schiff will sit on the Judiciary Committee, according to a Democratic aide, while Swalwell told CNN he will sit on the Judiciary and Homeland Security panels.

Two House Republicans publicly denounced McCarthy’s decision to expel Democrats from the intelligence panel. Swing District Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska called the removal of committee members “corrosive,” while Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana said in a statement that she opposes the campaign to recall Democrats. .

“I appreciate these Republican members speaking out against what McCarthy is doing,” Schiff later told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”

“I think it shows that there are Republicans who understand that this is highly frowned upon. It is only going to damage the institution, it is not justified, ”he added. “These efforts are by no means bipartisan. In fact, the opposition is bipartisan.”

McCarthy also announced Tuesday the list of GOP members he is naming to serve on the federal government’s select subcommittee on weapons, with Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan serving as chairman.

Republican Reps. Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Chip Roy of Texas, who were among the initial holdouts against McCarthy in the presidential race, also won seats on the panel. Democrats will also have the chance to nominate members.

The speaker also announced appointments to the select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic, with Greene among the chosen members.

McCarthy expanded both select committees and named more people to the slates than initially expected due to “overwhelming interest” from members, according to a GOP source familiar. House Republicans will have to table a floor resolution to formally amend the ratios, the source added, but he doesn’t see that as a problem.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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