Politics

Republican firebrands get prominent committee assignments, Santos awarded two seats

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(WASHINGTON) — Using their new power after taking control of the House, Republicans have placed a number of controversial party figures on influential committees.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, who were removed from their committee posts in the previous Congress over inflammatory statements, have received plum assignments on the powerful House Oversight Committee that is gearing up to investigate President Joe Biden, his family and his administration.

Committee assignments were a sticking point in Kevin McCarthy’s battle for House speakership. Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Scott Perry, who initially opposed McCarthy’s bid before flipping to his side, were also seated on the Oversight panel. Several of McCarthy’s detractors received better assignments than they held in the previous Congress.

The White House, without naming names, on Wednesday slammed the appointment of hardliners to the House Oversight Committee. Spokesman Ian Sams said the party was “handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Embattled Rep. George Santos also received two assignments on lower-level committees despite facing calls to resign and numerous investigations after admitting to fabricating much of his resume.

At the same time, McCarthy plans to keep Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee and Rep. Ilhan Omar from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Here’s what to know about the new committee assignments:

Greene, Gosar on House Oversight Committee

Greene’s placement on the panel comes after she pledged her support to McCarthy and criticized the other hard-line members of the House Freedom Caucus who were blocking McCarthy’s path to the gavel. Greene also received a spot on the Homeland Security Committee.

Her placements come after she was stripped of her assignments in the previous Democrat-controlled House over her past inflammatory posts on social media. Before being elected, she liked posts advocating for political violence against Democrats and embracing numerous conspiracy theories about 9/11 and school shootings.

“Joe Biden, be prepared,” Greene said in a statement about her appointment to the House Oversight Committee.

Gosar, too, was removed from his committee assignments by Democrats after he tweeted an altered anime video that depicted him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and swinging two swords at Biden.

While the White House didn’t call out specific members, Sams noted the new members of the committee include individuals who “suggested violence against political opponents, with one drawing a bipartisan censure from the House. They have defended and downplayed a violent insurrection against our democracy, and one defied a subpoena in an investigation of his own involvement in January 6.”

Santos awarded two spots

Santos will serve on the Small Business Committee, despite his lies about a career on Wall Street, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Santos has been under scrutiny for lying about much of his resume, including falsely claiming he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. He’s also the target of numerous complaints alleging misuse of campaign finances and other violations of campaign finance law.

At least seven Republican members of the House have called on Santos to resign, but leadership has stuck by the congressman so far. McCarthy said he has a right to serve despite the mounting controversy.

Where McCarthy’s opponents ended up

Most of the 20 Republicans who repeatedly voted against McCarthy for speaker have received committee assignments, and some received positions on more influential panels.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, perhaps McCarthy’s biggest opponent during the speakership showdown, will continue to serve on the House Judiciary Committee.

Boebert, another vocal McCarthy critic who voted “present” rather than for McCarthy on the final speakership ballots, was awarded a new seat on the House Oversight Committee. She will also keep her seat on the Committee on Natural Resources.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a new congresswoman from Florida, will also serve on the House Oversight Committee.

Rep. Byron Donalds, who was offered as a GOP alternative to McCarthy on numerous ballots, was elected to serve again on the House Oversight Committee and received a new seat on the House Committee on Financial Services.

Reps. Andrew Clyde and Michael Cloud, also McCarthy detractors, won seats on the House Appropriations Committee.

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