After winning a historically long bid for the gavel by acquiescing to demands of 21 holdouts, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is now reaping what he sowed, with right-wing hard-liners snatching up coveted assignments on committees that are likely to play dominant roles in the GOP’s investigative crusades against Joe Biden.
Representatives Lauren Boebert, Scott Perry, and Paul Gosar, three of the McCarthy holdouts who ultimately changed their votes, received posts on the House Oversight Committee, according to multiple reports; the committee will also reportedly include Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Donald Trump ally who reinforced McCarthy’s right flank during his bid for Speaker. Greene and Gosar’s posts are notable, as the two had their committee assignments stripped by the Democratic majority in 2021 for controversial remarks. (Now that Republicans control the chamber, McCarthy can follow through on a promise he made last year to strip some House Democrats from their committee assignments.)
Greene—a Georgia Republican who, before running for Congress, supported the QAnon movement and expressed support for the executions of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—will also reportedly sit on the Homeland Security Committee, which is expected to investigate the Biden administration’s handling of the US-Mexico border. In 2021, Greene signed a resolution calling for the impeachment of homeland security secretary Alejando Mayorkas, which may pass the House but is unlikely to clear the Senate.
In the House Judiciary Committee, representatives Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz, two of the most outspoken McCarthy opponents in the majority, will reportedly retain their spots, as will fellow Republican hard-liners Chip Roy and Dan Bishop.
With Democrats in control of the Senate and White House, conservatives in the House likely won’t achieve any legislative victories over the next two years. However, their presence on the Oversight and Judiciary committees is widely expected to bog down the Biden administration with countless investigations, subpoenas, and televised hearings.
Perhaps sensing the impending headaches, the White House released a statement Wednesday denouncing the committee assignments. “[I]t appears that House Republicans may be setting the stage for divorced-from-reality political stunts, instead of engaging in bipartisan work on behalf of the American people,” White House spokesperson for oversight Ian Sams told Axios. “Republicans are handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories.” Sams also demanded that McCarthy divulge the “secret deals” that led to him winning the Speaker’s gavel and insurgent conservative members netting plum committee assignments.
The assignments, which are decided by party leadership via the 30-member House Steering Committee, will not be made official until they are ratified by the full House Republican conference.
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