If he is elected speaker of the House next year when Republicans take control, current Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy has promised to strip certain Democrats — Reps. Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar, and Eric Swalwell — of their committee assignments. When asked about the possibility of losing his place on the Intelligence Committee, Schiff said that McCarthy will be forced to bend to the will of the extremists in his party.
“I suspect [McCarthy] will do whatever Marjorie Taylor Greene wants him to do,” Schiff said Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “He is a very weak leader of his conference, meaning that he will adhere to the wishes of the lowest common denominator, and if that lowest common denominator wants to remove people from committees, that’s what they’ll do.”
Schiff continued, “It’s going to be chaos with the Republican leadership, and sadly the crazy caucus has grown among the Republicans. Many Republicans who won primaries in deeply red districts are coming to Congress — like the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Paul Gosars.”
In other words, with Republicans controlling the House by a very narrow margin, the party will be more beholden to its far-right members like Greene and Gosar since it will need their votes to pass legislation. This past week, McCarthy’s Republican colleagues nominated him for speaker, but the speaker election will not take place until January. To win that vote, McCarthy must earn support from at least 218 members of Congress, meaning he’d need the votes from all or nearly all Republicans in the House.
Fellow Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, also weighed in on McCarthy’s potential reign as speaker. But he was not optimistic about McCarthy’s future. “He has cut so many deals with bad people to get to this position that I think he’s not going to be a leader at all,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
“I think he’ll be completely hostage to kind of the extreme wings of the Republican Party,” Kinzinger added. “I, frankly, don’t think he’s going to last very long. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong. But it’s sad to see a man that I think had so much potential just totally sell himself.”
Kinzinger continued by pointing out that McCarthy sold out to Trump after the insurrection and lent him legitimacy. “He’s the one that resurrected Donald Trump. The second he went to Mar-a-Lago a week or two after Jan. 6, he resurrected Donald Trump politically. So he owns everything that Trump says now as a candidate for reelection.”