House GOP rewards hard-liners, Santos with committee seats

Jan 18, 2023, 9:14 PM | Updated: Jan 19, 2023, 9:22 pm
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., talks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, after Gaetz voted "present"...

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., talks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, after Gaetz voted "present" in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

              Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., at the beginning of an evening session after six failed votes to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., is interviewed as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Perry narrowly missed casting his vote because he was conducting the interview. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
            
              Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., talks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, after Gaetz voted "present" in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., turns as he speaks with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., ahead of the 13th round of voting for speaker in the House chamber as the House meets for the fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., nominates Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., for the ninth vote in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., casts his vote for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., during the seventh round of voting on the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., casts his vote for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., during the seventh round of voting on the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., talks with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) 
              Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., walks in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
            Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks to reporters after the House adjourned for the night, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., look at vote totals during the roll call vote on the motion to adjourn for the evening in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., talks with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., passes by after the House voted to adjourn for the evening in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most far-right House Republicans, early opponents of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and even embattled new Rep. George Santos all are in line for coveted committee assignments. Some are set to serve on the high-profile oversight committee investigating President Joe Biden’s administration.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona will get to serve on committees now that Republicans have dislodged Democrats from the majority. When Democrats were in charge, both lawmakers were booted from their assignments for being too extreme.

Santos, who has acknowledged lying to New York voters about his past, has picked up two committee assignments.

The full House Republican conference must ratify the recommendations, but that generally is a formality.

A look at who went where in the new House.

GREENE, GOSAR BACK ON COMMITTEES

Two years ago, Democrats under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted just weeks into the last Congress to remove Greene from both her committees. It was an extraordinary punishment that Democrats said she had earned by spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories. Eleven Republicans joined 219 Democrats in backing Greene’s ejection from her committees.

This week, a GOP panel that selects most of the committee leaders and hands out committee assignments recommended that Greene serve on two important committees: Homeland Security and House Oversight and Accountability.

Greene, who is now one of McCarthy’s fiercest supporters, had embraced an array of conspiracy theories before winning election in 2020. For example, in November 2018, she talked about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, referring to a “so-called” plane that crashed into the Pentagon. She also “liked” a January 2019 Facebook post that called for “a bullet to the head” of Pelosi.

McCarthy, R-Calif., argued that the majority party in the House should not dictate how the minority disciplines its members. He described the removal of Greene’s committee assignments as a partisan power grab. Greene, who often trolls Democrats on social media, has said Biden should resign.

“Joe Biden, be prepared. We are going to uncover every corrupt business dealing, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power, and every check cut for The Big Guy,” Greene said.

Gosar lost his committee assignments in late 2021 after posting an animated video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., with a sword. Democrats said the video was a clear threat to a lawmaker’s life, and they argued that Gosar’s conduct would not be tolerated in any other workplace — and shouldn’t be in Congress.

The vote to censure Gosar and remove him from his House committee assignments was approved almost entirely along party lines. Then-Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois the only Republicans voting in favor.

Gosar will return to the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, his assignments before the punishment.

___

SANTOS TO SCIENCE AND SMALL BUSINESS

State and local Republican leaders in New York have called on Santos to resign after lying to voters about his resume and family heritage. Santos says he’s staying and McCarthy has taken the position that the voters will have the final say in the matter in 2024, when Santos would be up for reelection.

Republicans have such a slim House majority that even losing one Republican seat makes it that much tougher to pass legislation. Santos represents a Long Island-based district that could flip to Democrats in a special election.

Santos will serve on two lower-profile committees: the House Small Business Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

___

MCCARTHY’S DETRACTORS

A core group of Republicans who opposed McCarthy for speaker but ultimately changed their votes to present, allowing him to prevail in the 15th round, got their committee assignments.

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida will remain on the House Judiciary Committee. Biggs also returns to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona, in his first term, was recommended for the House Homeland Security Committee, where he says he will “fiercely combat the disaster at our border.” He also will be on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana will return to the House Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado will serve on that committee as well as the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, where Republicans will look into the business dealings of Hunter Biden in an attempt to find any connection to the president.

___

OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE NOTABLES

Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, chairman of ultra-conservative Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus, retained his seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and added a new assignment: the high-profile House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

“Boy, do I have some questions,” said Perry, about his role on that investigative committee.

Perry has continuously disputed the validity of Biden’s 2020 victory in Pennsylvania. The committee investigating the Capitol riot referred him to the House Ethics Committee, along with McCarthy, Biggs and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, for defying subpoenas seeking their testimony.

The addition of Perry, Boebert, Greene and Gosar to the House Oversight and Accountability presents challenges for Republicans who will need to show a strong measure of seriousness and even-handedness over the coming months to ensure credibility with voters about their findings. Those lawmakers are among Trump’s strongest allies in the House and are known for their inflammatory political discourse.

The committee chairman, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, called members of his committee “an all-star lineup ready to hit the ground running and go to bat for the American people.”

White House spokesman Ian Sams said that “with these members joining the Oversight Committee, it appears that House Republicans may be setting the stage for divorced-from-reality political stunts, instead of engaging in bipartisan work on behalf of the American people.”

___

Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif., Sept. 24, 201...
Associated Press

Google hopes ‘Bard’ will outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI

Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with “Bard," a conversational service apparently aimed at countering the popularity of the ChatGPT tool backed by Microsoft.
17 hours ago
FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing plans to cut about 2,000 finance and HR jobs in 2023

Boeing plans to make staffing cuts in the aerospace company's finance and human resources departments in 2023, with a loss of around 2,000 jobs
17 hours ago
(Jennifer Bakos via AP)...
Associated Press

1 missing, 2 rescued from crab boat off Washington coast

A crew member remains missing and two others were rescued from crab boat that sank near Willapa Bay in southwest Washington on Sunday evening, according to the Coast Guard.
17 hours ago
child marriages...
Associated Press

Proposed bill would pay incarcerated workers minimum wage

A Washington state lawmaker who has spent time in prison wants the state to pay incarcerated workers minimum wage for doing their jobs.
17 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, in California, shows known gang m...
Associated Press

Man pleads not guilty to killing 6 at California home

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — An alleged gang member pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing six people, including a teen mother and her baby, last month at a central California home associated with a rival gang, prosecutors said. The Jan. 16 massacre shocked rural Goshen, a community of about 3,000 people in the agricultural San Joaquin […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Faith leaders urge independent review of Alabama executions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — More than 170 pastors and other faith leaders on Tuesday urged Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to authorize an independent review of execution procedures, as Oklahoma and Tennessee did after a series of failed lethal injections in those states. The group applauded Ivey for taking the “bold and necessary step” of ordering […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
House GOP rewards hard-liners, Santos with committee seats