House GOP rewards hardliners, Santos with committee seats

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WASHINGTON (TBEN) — The House’s most far-right Republicans, early opponents of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and even embattled new Representative George Santos are all lining up for coveted committee commissions. Some will serve on the high-profile oversight committee investigating President Joe Biden’s administration.

Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona will serve on committees now that Republicans have ousted Democrats from the majority. When the Democrats were in charge, both legislators were kicked out of their jobs for being too extreme.

Santos, who has admitted lying to New York voters about his past, has taken on two commission assignments.

The full House Republican conference must ratify the recommendations, but that is generally a formality.

A look at who went where in the new home.

GREENE, GOSAR BACK IN COMMITTEES

Two years ago, Democrats under then-Chairman Nancy Pelosi voted just weeks before the last Congress to remove Greene from both of her committees. It was an extraordinary punishment that Democrats say she deserved for spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories. Eleven Republicans joined 219 Democrats in supporting Greene’s removal from her committees.

This week, a GOP panel that selects most committee leaders and issues committee assignments recommended that Greene serve on two major committees: Homeland Security and House Oversight and Accountability.

Greene, who is now one of McCarthy’s staunchest supporters, had espoused a range of conspiracy theories before winning the 2020 election. For example, in November 2018, she spoke about the September 11 terrorist attacks, referring to a “so-called” plane that crashed into the Pentagon. She also “liked” a January 2019 Facebook post that called for “a bullet in the head” from Pelosi.

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McCarthy, R-Calif., argued that the majority party in the House should not dictate how the minority discipline its members. He described the removal of Greene’s commission assignments as a partisan power grab. Greene, who often pokes fun at Democrats on social media, has said Biden should resign.

“Joe Biden, be prepared. We are going to expose every corrupt business transaction, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power and every check cut for The Big Guy,” said Greene.

Gosar lost his commission assignments in late 2021 after he posted an animated video portraying him defeating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., killed with a sword. Democrats said the video posed a clear threat to a lawmaker’s life, and they argued that Gosar’s behavior would not be tolerated in any other workplace — including Congress.

The vote to censure Gosar and remove him from his House committee assignments was approved almost entirely along party lines. Dan representatives. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois are the only Republicans to vote in favor.

Gosar returns to the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, his assignments for punishment.

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SANTOS TO SCIENCE AND SMALL BUSINESSES

New York state and local Republican leaders have called for Santos to resign after lying to voters about his resume and family heritage. Santos says he will stay and McCarthy has taken the position that voters will have the final say on the matter in 2024, when Santos is up for re-election.

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Republicans have such a slim majority in the House that losing even one Republican seat makes it much more difficult to pass legislation. Santos represents a Long Island district that could go to the Democrats in a special election.

Santos will serve on two lower committees: the House Small Business Committee and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

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MCCARTHY’S ​​DETRACTORS

A core group of Republicans who opposed McCarthy as speaker, but eventually changed their votes to present, allowing him to win in the 15th round, were given their committee assignments.

Representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida remain on the House Judiciary Committee. Biggs also returns to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Rep. Arizona’s Eli Crane was recommended to the House Homeland Security Committee in his first term, where he says he will “vigorously fight the disaster on our border.” He will also serve on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

Rep. Montana’s Matt Rosendale will return to the House Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Colorado’s Lauren Boebert will serve on that committee, as well as the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, where Republicans will investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings in an effort to find any connection to the president.

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COMMENTS FROM THE MONITORING COMMITTEE

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Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, chairman of ultraconservative Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus, retained his seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and added a new remit: the high-profile House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

“Boy, do I have some questions,” Perry said of his role on that commission of inquiry.

Perry has continuously challenged the validity of Biden’s 2020 win in Pennsylvania. The committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot referred him to the House Ethics Committee, along with McCarthy, Biggs, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, for defying subpoenas to request their testimony.

The addition of Perry, Boebert, Greene and Gosar to the House Oversight and Accountability poses challenges for Republicans, who will need to demonstrate a great deal of seriousness and impartiality in the coming months to ensure the credibility of their findings with voters. Those lawmakers are among Trump’s strongest allies in the House and are known for their incendiary political discourse.

The committee chair, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky called the members of his committee “an all-star lineup ready to get off the ground and go clubbing for the American people.”

White House spokesman Ian Sams said that “with these members joining the Oversight Committee, it appears that House Republicans may be setting the stage for political stunts that are disconnected from reality, rather of engaging in dual work on behalf of the American people.”

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The Bharat Express News writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.