House Republicans are warning that partisanship will only get worse if they retake the chamber next year during the midterms thanks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision last week to block to of their members from serving on her Jan. 6 committee.
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“This is a sham committee that’s just politically driven by Speaker Pelosi,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said Thursday after Pelosi blocked Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, both allies of former President Donald Trump, from serving on the committee.
The unprecedented move by the Speaker exacerbated tensions that were already high between members of both parties after she and Republican House Administration Committee ranking member Rodney Davis met in January following the Capitol breach and decided that a bipartisan investigation was warranted.
In booting Jordan and Banks, Pelosi claimed their past statements made them unqualified to serve on the committee.
“When statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of ‘you must be kidding,’ there’s no way that they’re going to be on the committee,” Pelosi said Thursday.
But Pelosi’s unheard of action followed a similar one by Democrats — who only hold the chamber by nine members, with four vacancies — earlier this year.
“Earlier this year, Democrats took another unprecedented step and stripped away committee assignments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over social media posts aimed at Democrats that the Georgia Republican made before she was elected to Congress,” the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.
Next, Pelosi angered GOP lawmakers again when she unilaterally decided to install metal detectors at all entrances to the House chamber, and again when she levied fines against members who failed to wear masks on the House floor even if they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Republicans who ignored or bypassed those measures have been fined thousands of dollars.
“I didn’t think things could get more partisan in the House than they already were,” a top Republican aide told the Washington Examiner.
“But Speaker Pelosi’s decision to remove Republicans from the January 6th Committee just took things to an entirely new level,” the source continued.
“When Republicans take back the House, expect endless retaliation.”
The GOP believes it can retake the House next year and slam the breaks on President Joe Biden’s agenda as well as take the Speaker’s gavel away from Pelosi.
After she blocked Jordan and Banks, McCarthy, who will become Speaker, vowed to “decide who sits on every committee,” according to a source who spoke with the outlet.
And while McCarthy will likely cool down by the time he takes the Speaker’s gavel in January 2023, rank-and-file Republicans still angry about Democrats’ treatment of Greene may push to dismiss controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from her committee assignments over what they describe as frequent anti-Semitic remarks.
Then again, tensions will more than likely remain high for the foreseeable future. In booting Jordan and Banks, Pelosi appointed anti-Trump Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and on Sunday indicated she may also point Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who is also frequently criticized the former president and joined Cheney in voting to impeach him earlier this year.
There is also a growing chasm between Pelosi and McCarthy, the former of whom has all but ghosted the minority leader after he described her as a “lame duck speaker” and blasted her for changing the nature of the House with unprecedented, politically motivated moves.
“I’m not talking about him,” Pelosi said. “Let’s not waste each other’s time.”
Banks and Jordan say they were blacklisted by Pelosi because they were dedicated to actually getting to the bottom of why the Capitol breach occurred.
“They knew that Jim Jordan and I would ask the tough questions that they didn’t want to answer about the systemic breakdown of security at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and ultimately, who’s responsible for that, the speaker of the House,” Banks told Fox News.