WASHINGTON — Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said Tuesday she'll oppose Speaker Kevin McCarthy's efforts to keep a handful of Democrats off key House committees.
“As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again," she said in a strongly worded statement. "Speaker McCarthy needs to stop 'bread and circuses' in Congress and start governing for a change.”
Spartz's statement came in response to McCarthy's stated intentions to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee and keep Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., off the Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy, R-Calif., has unilateral power to keep members off the Intelligence panel, which is structured as a permanent select committee and gives the speaker special authorities. But he may need the support of a majority of the House to block Omar from Foreign Affairs.
Given McCarthy's slim Republican majority, every vote is important. With proxy voting no longer an option, even a handful of absences could sway outcomes in the House when the two parties disagree.
McCarthy's plans are widely seen as retaliation against Democrats for kicking Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia off their committees in the last Congress over incendiary or violent rhetoric.
“Two wrongs do not make a right,” Spartz said in her statement. “Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the Minority without proper due process again.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., would also vote against booting Democrats like Omar from committees, a spokesperson said, adding that Mace intends to be consistent after having voted against removing Greene from committees.