McCarthy formally rejects Schiff, Swalwell from Intel committee

 January 25, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) rejected an effort by Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to return Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to return to the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy posted his letter on social media to confirm his vow to remove the two congressmen from the committee in his Monday rejection.

The decision

“I appreciate the loyalty you have to your Democrat colleagues, and I acknowledge your efforts to have two Members of Congress reinstated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence," McCarthy wrote.

"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," he continued.

“As such, in order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee's responsibilities, I am hereby rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence Committee," he added.

The problems

"Republicans have been up in arms over the issue since 2021, when Democrats staged votes to remove GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) from their committees following revelations that they had promoted violence against some of their Democratic colleagues," The Hill reported.

"The eviction votes came after McCarthy declined to punish either lawmaker internally within the GOP conference, which is typically where such disciplinary actions are meted out," it added.

Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) had submitted nominations to reinstate the two men prior to McCarthy's rejection, refusing to back down to their removal.

McCarthy's reason for the rejection was clear. He viewed the two congressmen as national security risks for the committee in a strong rebuke to the history of Schiff and Swalwell.

The battle will likely continue, but the decision appears final that their time on the committee is over for now.

Democrats will need to move on to a backup plan to find ways to influence the committee and stay involved as Republicans lead with a new majority in the House.

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