Jeffries Accuses McCarthy of “Double Standard” Over Committees

January 23, 2023


House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) of an “apparent double standard” in his designation of committee assignments.

In a letter first obtained by Punchbowl News, Jeffries on Saturday nominated Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swallwell to the House Intelligence Committee. 

Both served on that Committee in the 117th Congress—and Schiff was its Chair—but McCarthy has said he plans to oust them from it in the 118th under the Republican majority. 

On Wednesday McCarthy awarded two committee assignments to embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) even as the congressman faces  mounting legal issues, including over his campaign financing, and growing calls to resign for extensively lying about his professional and personal life.

“At the same time that Republicans have threatened to deny seats on the Intelligence Committee to clearly qualified Democratic members, serial fraudster George Santos has been placed on two standing committees of the House and welcomed into your conference,” Jeffries wrote in his letter to McCarthy. “The apparent double standard risks undermining the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that is so desperately needed in Congress.”

Santos’ assignments came the day after McCarthy had assigned committee seats to Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who had been ousted from committees in the 117th Congress over violent imagery and rhetoric they had publicly used targeting prominent Democrats.

There was no immediate response from McCarthy to Jeffries’ letter. However, in arguing for the removal of the two Democrats from Intelligence Committee, McCarthy has pointed to Swalwell’s brief association with a Chinese spy and has claimed that Schiff “lied to the American public” about whether he personally knew the whistleblower who triggered the first impeachment of former President Trump.

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