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McCarthy says he’s removing Reps. Ilhan Omar, Schiff from Foreign Affairs, Intel cmtes.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a press conference about COVID-19 and China. (Michael Brochstein/Zuma Wire/TNS)
January 10, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he intends to follow through on his promise to block Democrats from seats on powerful committees, partially in retribution for Democrats knocking two Republicans off their committees in 2021.

McCarthy told Punchbowl News he’s planning to keep the California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from being assigned to the Intelligence Committee. And he’s going to stop the progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from keeping her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector. I’m not going to give him a government security clearance,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News. “Schiff has lied too many times to the American public. He should not be on Intel.”

McCarthy has tweeted that he would aim to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee “based on her repeated anti-semitic and anti-American remarks.”

“I made all [three] cases before. It’s not like it’s anything new,” McCarthy said. “Remember, this is what Nancy Pelosi, this is the type of Congress she wanted to have.”

House Democrats booted two Republicans out of their committee posts in 2021. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were each voted off of two committees.

At the time, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) downplayed the potential for revenge, saying, “We would not walk away from our responsibilities for fear of something [Republicans] might do in the future,” as reported by The Hill.

McCarthy told Punchbowl News he intends to put Greene and Gosar back on committees. He’s aiming for the same for freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who is under multiple criminal investigations and fabricated much of his personal history, as detailed by New York Magazine.

McCarthy can single-handedly block Schiff and Stalwell from serving on the Intelligence Committee because it’s classified as a “select committee.” But the full House would have to vote on Omar being blocked from Foreign Affairs because it’s a “standing committee,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.