HomeWorldAs House, Senate organise, Jeffries pushes McCarthy on committee assignments.

As House, Senate organise, Jeffries pushes McCarthy on committee assignments.

The House and Senate begin work this week following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. And both chambers are forming committees. The Senate has not met since January 3; it adjourned immediately after swearing in the newly elected and reelected members. You already know what happened in the House to prolong this process. The organization of the Senate should proceed rather smoothly. The Senate less so.

Even though the ratio of Democrats to Republicans on committees will be essentially the same as in the previous Congress. Except for the majority switch, the composition of a few committees will lead to conflict. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries initiated the process over the weekend by telling House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of his formal nomination of California Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell to continue serving on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

As House, Senate organise, Jeffries pushes McCarthy on committee assignments.

McCarthy has vowed for months to exclude these two individuals from the committee. As revenge for their efforts on Trump probes and impeachment. It is also vengeance for the previous Congress when Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Green and Paul Gosar were removed from their committee assignments due to violent tendencies and threats to the safety of other members.

As House, Senate organise, Jeffries pushes McCarthy on committee assignments

McCarthy’s reasons for blackballing the two Democrats are quite flimsy: the disproved allegations that Schiff lied about the investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia, and that Swalwell is connected to a suspected Chinese spy who helped him raise money in 2014. Swalwell severed links with the Chinese national after being apprised of the FBI’s suspicions and is no longer under suspicion. Their rejection from the panel is just revenge and vengeance.

Jeffries noted in his letter to McCarthy, “This action was taken by both Democrats and Republicans considering the gravity of the actions involved, particularly in the aftermath of a violent revolt and attack on the Capitol.” Representatives Schiff and Swalwell have never demonstrated violent ideas or conduct. So this does not serve as a precedent or justification for their removal from office.

In addition, he mentioned that McCarthy had appointed “serial fraudster” Rep. George Santos to two committees and has been “invited to your conference.” Santos is under investigation for essentially everything. “The apparent double standard [with Santos] threatens to undermine the urgently needed spirit of bipartisan cooperation in Congress,” Jeffries wrote.

Jeffries pushes McCarthy on committee assignments

McCarthy can exclude Schiff and Swalwell from the intelligence committee unilaterally. Since it is not a standing committee, one of the permanent panels with jurisdiction specified by the House rules. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who he also seeks to strip of a committee assignment, cannot be treated the same way.

He has pledged to remove her from her position on the Foreign Affairs Committee. The Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is anticipated to keep Omar on the committee. When it meets this week to select committee assignments.

McCarthy will have to hold a vote on the House floor this week to deny her that seat. The same procedure that stripped Greene’s and Gosar’s seats in bipartisan votes. This will be a test of his minuscule majority. Rep. Nancy Mace has said she will not vote with him. Because she opposed removing Greene and Gosar from committees in the previous Congress. She said, “I will treat everyone fairly.”

Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United

“I want to maintain consistency.” That is likely one vote lost. Rep. Greg Steube of Florida, who was critically injured last week after falling off a 25-foot ladder while using a chainsaw (obviously a task for specialists) to trim tree limbs, may not return to work this week.

With the swearing-in of Senator-designate Pete Ricketts, the committees on the Senate side can begin forming. He is filling the seat held by Ben Sasse, who left Nebraska to become the president of the University of Florida in Florida.

In addition, the Senate will vote on Brendan Owens’ nominee as assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations, and the environment. The Senate committee assignments should not be a source of drama given that the Democrats have a comfortable majority.

This week’s episode of The Downballot features a special double-barreled, two-guest show! As we approach the 13th anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United, will describe her organization’s efforts to reverse the corrupting effects of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Muller discusses ECU’s short- and long-term plans to enact serious campaign finance reform. How the organization has expanded into the broader voting rights arena in recent years. And research demonstrating the surprising connection that many voters made between the GOP’s attacks on democracy and their war on abortion rights.

Then, legal professor Quinn Yeargain joins us to discuss the stunning blow Governor Kathy Hochul suffered in the state capital on Wednesday when a Democratic-led Senate committee rejected her conservative choice to lead New York’s highest court.

Yeargain explains why Hochul’s threatening lawsuit to compel the legislature to conduct a full floor vote on Hector LaSalle is contrary to 250 years of precedent and what will happen if she eventually backs down, as she should.

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