Hakeem Jeffries hooks up with Kevin McCarthy by including Schiff and Swalwell to the Intelligence Committee
House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) took on Speaker McCarthy by slamming the Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell nominated to continue serving on the Intelligence Committee.
Jeffries wrote to McCarthy:
I am writing to you today to propose two highly qualified Representatives for reappointment to continue their service on the House Intelligence Standing Committee: Senior Member Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell of California. Collectively, these members bring more than two decades of distinguished leadership overseeing our nation’s intelligence community before serving in Congress, in addition to serving as prosecutors in law enforcement.
Appointments to the Intelligence Committee are the prerogative of the Speaker, in consultation with the Democratic leader. I understand you intend to break with the longstanding House tradition of following the recommendations of the minority party’s Intelligence Committee and refusing seats to Senior Member Schiff and Rep. Swalwell. Denying seats to duly elected members of the House Democratic Caucus runs counter to the Intelligence Committee’s earnest and sober mission.
At the 117th Congress, two members were removed from their committee duties after a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives found them unfit to serve on standing committees for directly inciting violence against their peers. This action was taken by both Democrats and Republicans given the seriousness of the behavior involved, particularly after a violent riot and attack on the Capitol. It does not serve as a precedent or justification for the removal of Representatives Schiff and Swalwell as they have never displayed violent thoughts or behavior.
While Republicans have threatened to deny clearly qualified Democratic members seats on the Intelligence Committee, serial con man George Santos has been elected to two standing committees of the House of Representatives and welcomed into their conference. The apparent double standard risks undermining the spirit of bipartisan cooperation so badly needed in Congress.
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Good for Leader Jeffries that he didn’t let McCarthy’s hypocrisy towards Santos get away with it. It was also important to note that McCarthy restored committee assignments to Representatives Gosar and Greene after they were removed by a bipartisan vote at the last Congress.
Jeffries challenges McCarthy to table the appointments of the Schiff and Swalwell committees. If the tasks are put to a vote, chances are McCarthy could lose that vote because the two Democrats did nothing wrong.
Schiff will be fined for leading Trump’s first impeachment trial and Swalwell will be fined for suing Trump over the 1/6 attack.
The Democrats don’t have much power in the House of Representatives, but with such a small Republican majority, they can make life very difficult for Kevin McCarthy.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House press pool and congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. His thesis focused on public policy with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association