U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News this weekend that if he is elected the next speaker of the House, he will force some prominent Democrats from their current committee posts.
McCarthy, who is expected to be the next speaker despite some Republican opposition, said that the conduct of Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell was such that all three had lost the privilege of serving on their current committees.
“One thing I said from the very beginning, Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the public sector,” McCarthy told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo. “Why would we ever give him a security clearance and the secrets to America? So, I will not allow him to be on Intel.”
“You have Adam Schiff, who lied to the American public time and again,” McCarthy added. “We will not allow him to be on the Intel Committee either.”
And finally: “Congresswoman Omar, her antisemitic comments that have gone forward, we’re not going to allow her to be on Foreign Affairs.”
Omar unsurprisingly blamed McCarthy’s statements on “xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism,” ignoring the fact that it was antisemitic comments of her own that have led to this point.
“From the moment I was elected, the Republican Party has made it their mission to use fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism to target me on the House Floor and through millions of dollars of campaign ads,” Omar said in a statement cited by The Hill.
“I think Nancy Pelosi set the precedent,” Gingrich said. “She did something that had never been done before and reached into the minority party to decide who could and could not serve on some committees. I think Kevin McCarthy is following her precedent.
“So the Democrats have nothing to complain about because they started this dance and frankly, the three people he’s picked so totally deserve to be kicked off committees,” he added. “It’s unbelievable.
“Adam Schiff made a career out of lying to the American people while serving as chairman of the Intelligence Committee without any question, just plain, flat-out lying. Swalwell has had a relationship with a Chinese communist. That’s unimaginable for somebody who’s going to have security clearance. And of course, Omar is a viciously anti-Israel, antisemitic orator who has consistently violated the norms of civilized behavior.
“So I think those are three pretty good targets,” the former speaker concluded. “And I commend Speaker-designate McCarthy for taking them head-on.”
NPR reported last week that McCarthy had been nominated in a 188-to-31 vote by House Republicans to serve as the speaker when the new session of Congress convenes in January with a Republican majority.
A public vote will be held of the full House on Jan. 3, and McCarthy will need a majority of those votes — from both Democrats and Republicans — to actually win the speakership. Republicans will have a majority in the House, but just barely.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, supported by other conservatives, promises to make McCarthy work for the position.
“We have our work cut out for us,” McCarthy told reporters after winning the nomination. “We’ll work together and we’ll get there.”
McCarthy will have to earn at least 218 votes to become the next speaker, and Republicans are expected to hold the House by a single-digit margin.
Unless McCarthy can muster support from some Democrats for his candidacy, he will be able to afford to lose only a handful of Republican House votes on Jan. 3.
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