The power balance in the House of Representatives is rapidly being tested. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy secured his leadership role after clashing with about 20 House Republicans who wanted someone else for the position.
However, even since getting into power, McCarthy is still under a microscope. Many Americans are eager to see if concessions he made to the 20 holdouts are ultimately going to impact how he governs as House Speaker.
Then, there’s the Democratic House leader Hakeem Jeffries, with whom McCarthy is already starting to butt heads with. According to Red State, Jeffries is also bucking certain calls made by McCarthy in order to do favors for the Democrat Party.
A Closer Look at What’s Happening in the House
Under the leadership of Speaker McCarthy, Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff were removed from the House Intelligence Committee. Their removals took place because of how they conducted themselves while they were on these committees.
However, Rep. Jeffries went around McCarthy, pushing to place both Swalwell and Schiff back into their roles. In doing so, the Democratic leader wrote to McCarthy, stating that both of the aformentioned lawmakers have decades of experience and “eminent qualifications.”
Under Dem control, House committees were used to target political opponents and reward allies at the expense of addressing the country's concerns.
That ends now.
These Republican members will work to shift power back to the American people through their respective committees. pic.twitter.com/J5qBO1d3gd
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 23, 2023
Jeffries, in further remarks to McCarthy, declared that removing Swalwell and Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee hurts the body’s greater mission.
Nevertheless, when Democrats were in control of the House, they never hesitated to boot off GOP members with whom they found fault. On top of that, since the House Democratic caucus is now in the minority, they seem to want to play by different rules.
What Comes Next?
As the House Speaker, McCarthy is ultimately going to have the final say on which members get the privilege of serving on committees. Still, the motion from Jeffries sets up a dynamic for the pair to butt heads.
Democrats, meanwhile, are alleging that McCarthy’s removal of these two was more about getting revenge than about any sort of impropriety.
Honored to be re-nominated by @RepJeffries to the Intel Committee. McCarthy's threat to remove me, out of political vengeance, destroys the committee's independence. Worst, his justification is based on lies @washingtonpost’s fact-checker gave 4 Pinocchios. He has no credibility pic.twitter.com/rO9z3cNzQc
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 23, 2023
It remains to be seen if McCarthy and Jeffries are going to butt heads with one another in the future. Nevertheless, reactions to the current disagreement fall largely upon partisan lines, with Republicans supporting the removal of Swalwell and Schiff and Democrats opposing it.
At this time, it appears as thought the GOP and Democratic caucuses in the House of Representatives are going to remain very divided. Though with Republicans having a narrow majority, it will ultimately be their party that gets to make the calls on committee assignments, legislation that passes the chamber, etc.
What do you think about the pushback that House Speaker McCarthy is getting over his decisions about House Intelligence Committee assignments? Let us know in the comments area if you see McCarthy and Jeffries clashing again later down the line.