House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday exiled Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee. The move escalates an ongoing tit-for-tat game over committee assignments and implements McCarthy’s vow of revenge after Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted to oust Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga .) and Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) from their commissions in 2021.
The decision is McCarthy’s first major act of partisan revenge since taking the majority earlier this month. In a formal letter detailing his decision to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, McCarthy said he could not ‘put partisan loyalty ahead of national security’ and claimed the intelligence panel ‘seriously undermined its core missions national security and surveillance – ultimately leaving our nation less secure.” He also deemed the dismissals of Schiff and Swalwell as essential “to maintain a standard worthy of the responsibilities of this committee”.
Last week, Greene and Gosar has received House committee assignments after the two representatives were removed from office for suggesting violence against Democratic politicians. McCarthy also indicated that he would allow Rep. George Santos (RN.Y.), which is currently in the face of multiple investigations for lying to voters about key aspects of his identity and resume, a committee position.
McCarthy also threatened to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) from the Foreign Affairs Committee. In a statement, the three impeachment-targeted Democrats said “it’s disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of Congress and undermining our national security in the process,” PBS reported.
They said their ousting was part of a deal McCarthy made with the far-right House Freedom Caucus to take over. hammerwhich “required political revenge against the three of us”.