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McCarthy says if House speaker, he would strip some Democrats of committee assignments

Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, made the threat during an interview with Breitbart on Monday.
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WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday that if Republicans win control of House in the midterm elections and put him in charge, he would remove some high-profile Democratic members from their committee roles.

"The Democrats have created a new thing where they're picking and choosing who could be on the committee," McCarthy, R-Calif., said in an interview with the conservative outlet Breitbart. "Never in the history have you had the majority tell the minority who could be on committee."

Democrats acted unilaterally last year to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from her committee assignments after social media posts surfaced of her threatening gun control activists and posting debunked conspiracy theories.

At the time, Republicans warned they could retaliate if they took control of the chamber.

McCarthy named Reps. Eric Swalwell California; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; and Adam Schiff of California as Democrats he'd remove from their committee assignments.

Doing so would require a vote of a majority of the House, but McCarthy would wield considerable power to do so if he were running the chamber.

All three have been vocal critics of former President Donald Trump and have become favorite targets of conservatives.

"Ilhan Omar should not be serving on Foreign Affairs," said McCarthy, who seemed to side with fellow Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado after she made comments comparing Omar to a terrorist because of her Muslim faith.

McCarthy said at the time that he had helped arrange a phone call between Boebert and Omar days after Boebert's remarks came under scrutiny.

Omar is a member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the House Education and Labor panel. Schiff serves as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the nation's intelligence agencies and led the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"Think about Afghanistan. Why did Afghanistan collapse so fast?" McCarthy said. "Was the Intel Committee under Schiff focused on impeachment and not on the safety of America?"

The intelligence committee "should do exactly what it was created, overseeing of our agencies and others, so we're going to hold people to a higher standard in the process if they want to be on the intel committee and the training of what to be a part of that," he said.

As the top Republican in the House, McCarthy is expected to make a bid to become House speaker in 2023 should Republicans win control of the chamber.