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McCarthy Plans to Weaponize His Speakership

The role of Speaker of the House was copied from the British House of Commons. At first, the speaker represented the king and reported back to the king on what Parliament was doing. The king didn't always like what he was told. Seven speakers were executed for delivering unwelcome news to the king. More recently the British speaker is expected to be above the fray and not act in a partisan role. The U.S. speaker's role was based on that, but has evolved over time.

U.S. speakers are definitely partisan, but haven't misused their powers, for the most part. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) plans to change that if he becomes speaker. Yesterday on Fox News, McCarthy said again that he plans to kick Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) off the House Intelligence Committee. Has Schiff broken any law or House ethics rule? No. Has he lied in public of said anything hateful about anyone? No. So what's the problem? He led the first impeachment of Donald Trump and Trump wants revenge. And when Trump says: "Jump!" McCarthy asks: "How high, sir?"

McCarthy also plans to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN) from their committees. Other than annoy Trump, Swalwell hasn't done anything, either. Ilhan made some remarks that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic but when pressed, she apologized and said she opposes Israel's policy toward the Palestinians, but does not have anything against Jews.

This is not the first time members have been removed from House committees. In February, a majority of the entire House (including 11 Republicans) voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments for her incendiary and violent speech. For McCarthy, the model is: "You removed some of our people so we will remove some of your people." That his people deserved it (and even some Republicans agreed) and Schiff and Swalwell don't, doesn't play any role here. Whatever Trump wants, Trump gets. (V)

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