(Nov. 19) House leaders in both parties are acting like ill-behaved pre-adolescents in their squabbling about committee assignments.

The most unconscionable entry into the race to the bottom came Thursday from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. He said he may actually promote controversial GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona if Republicans retake the House majority after the 2022 midterm elections.

Gosar and Greene are embarrassments to Congress who repeatedly have trafficked in bigotry and dangerous conspiracy theories. McCarthy, though, is angry that Democrats trampled congressional protocol by evicting the two of them from all committee assignments. In response, he said that if Republicans prevail in midterm balloting, he may award them even better committee spots than they previously held.

In other words, because McCarthy thinks Democrats overreached in punishing the two for bad behavior, he actually will reward them for it. The Republican leader’s reaction is puerile.

Let’s parse all this.

Traditionally, once the two parties determine (based on election results nationwide) how many members each party will get on each committee, each party makes the determination of what assignments go to each of its members. The majority party technically has the ultimate say on assignments, but by custom, it defers to the minority’s committee choices.

Greene, a freshman member of Congress, has a long history of statements expressing contempt for minorities and suggesting that mass shootings and even the 9/11 plane that flew into the Pentagon weren’t real. While Greene was still a candidate, McCarthy himself released a statement calling her comments “appalling” and saying he “has no tolerance for them,” while House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana endorsed her primary opponent and said, “The comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great.” Even after she took office, McCarthy denounced her and Gosar together for “nativist dog whistles ” that suggest this nation was “built on identity, race, or religion.” In sum, McCarthy knows both representatives bring discredit to the House.

House Republican leaders should have led the way in removing Greene from committee assignments …. [The full column is at this link.]


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