January 28, 2023

McCarthy formally blocks Schiff, Swalwell from Intel panel

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday formally rejected two Democrats — Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) — from serving on the Intelligence Committee, escalating the two-year, tit-for-tat battle between the parties over who is qualified for certain positions on Capitol Hill. 

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) had written to McCarthy on Saturday asking that both Schiff and Swalwell be seated on the Intel panel, where membership assignments come solely at the discretion of the Speaker. 

McCarthy rejected the request, saying Schiff and Swalwell’s previous actions make them unfit to serve on a panel with jurisdiction over and access to sensitive issues of national security.

“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 wrote in a letter to Jeffries.

The move was no surprise. 

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 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.

Still, McCarthy on Tuesday denied that his decision regarding Schiff and Swalwell was retribution for Greene and Gosar.

“This is not not anything political. This is not similar to what the Democrats did,” McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday evening just outside his office in the Capitol.

DEVELOPING.


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