Spartz Won’t Support McCarthy’s Ousting Democrats from Committees

January 24, 2023

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) said Tuesday she will not support efforts by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to deny three Democrats committee seatings.

Spartz, America’s only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, said in a statement that she opposes McCarthy’s attempt to deny Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), America’s only African-born Member of Congress who hails from Somalia, a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Spartz also said she opposes McCarthy’s vow to deny California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from positions on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which Schiff chaired in the 117th Congress.

“Two wrongs do not make a right,” Spartz wrote 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.”

Last Tuesday McCarthy 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 made public targeting prominent Democrats.

Spartz’s statement comes a day after Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) told CNN she’s also leaning toward opposing efforts to oust Omar from Foreign Affairs, saying, “I’m going to treat everybody equally.”

McCarthy has the power to unilaterally block Schiff and Swalwell from serving on Intelligence because it is a select committee. Ousting Omar from Foreign Affairs requires a full House vote, of which McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes on the Republican side.

During McCarthy’s four-day, 15-round slog to secure the Speakership, Spartz voted “present” eight rounds in a row, only changing her vote to “McCarthy” in the 12th round of voting.

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