Pandering to 'the lowest common denominator': Democrats blast Kevin McCarthy over committee axings
Almost two weeks after the 2022 midterm elections, Americans are seeing, more and more, what Congress will look like in 2023.
Democrats will keep their small U.S. Senate majority, with Sen. Mitch McConnell still serving as Senate minority leader. Republicans will have a small majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy seemingly on track to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House speaker. Pelosi will still be in Congress but is retiring as Democratic House leader, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (who was reelected by 45 percent in the midterms in New York’s 8th Congressional District) appears to have a good shot at becoming House minority leader in 2023.
McCarthy has threatened to strip several House Democrats of their committee assignments, while saying that there will be no committee assignment restrictions with the controversial far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. And some of those House Democrats, according to NBC News reporter Summer Concepción, are vowing to fight back.
Concepción explains, “After Republicans narrowly won control of the House in the midterm elections, McCarthy, this weekend, doubled down on his pledge to remove several prominent House Democrats from their committee assignments if he becomes speaker. McCarthy said he would not allow Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, on the House Intelligence Committee.”
Omar responded on Monday, November 11, and she didn’t mince words. The progressive Minnesota congresswoman, noting that McCarthy isn’t going after Greene, complained, “Their mission to use fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism to target me on the House Floor and through millions of dollars of campaign ads…. McCarthy’s effort to repeatedly single me out for scorn and hatred — including threatening to strip me from my committee — does nothing to address the issues our constituents deal with. It does nothing to address inflation, health care, or solve the climate crisis.”
During a Sunday, November 20 appearance on ABC News, Schiff declared, “He will adhere to the wishes of the lowest common denominator. And if that lowest common denominator wants to remove people from committees, that’s what they’ll do. It’s going to be chaos with Republican leadership.”
When NBC News asked Swalwell to comment on McCarthy and House committee assignments, he had a biting response: “Talk to me if Kevin McCarthy becomes speaker.”
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