Kevin McCarthy owes his long-desired speakership to a group of 21 holdouts finally caving, all of whom have been rewarded for flipping with plum committee assignments.
McCarthy made no secret of his ambition to be speaker, apparently no matter the cost, and the California Republican made us all sit through 15 agonizing votes before finally making enough deals to win. But it seems that the many changes to the rules package were not the only concessions he made.
Representative Lauren Boebert kept her seat on the Committee on Natural Resources and received a new post on the powerful House Oversight Committee. She is joined there by Scott Perry, Anna Paulina Luna, and Paul Gosar. Gosar was previously stripped of all committee assignments after he shared an animated video showing him killing Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden with swords.
Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz who, along with Boebert, were some of the most vocal McCarthy critics, will keep their seats on the House Judiciary Committee, along with Chip Roy and Dan Bishop. Byron Donalds, who at one point ran against McCarthy for speaker, will stay on the House Oversight Committee and has joined the House Committee on Financial Services. Many other McCarthy holdouts will keep their committee assignments.
McCarthy also rewarded his allies: Jim Jordan, who consistently voted for McCarthy even when the holdouts nominated Jordan for speaker, is the new chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Marjorie Taylor Greene spent months allying herself with McCarthy and urging her colleagues to back him. She, like Gosar, was stripped of committee assignments by Democrats for her inflammatory social media posts. Greene now sits on the Oversight Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security. Problematic king George Santos voted for McCarthy every time, and not only has the new speaker refrained from condemning the freshman congressman’s many lies but McCarthy also gave him two committee assignments.
James Comer is the new chair of the Oversight Committee. Mike Rogers threatened to withhold committee assignments from the holdouts and even nearly came to blows with Gaetz for refusing to vote for McCarthy. He now chairs the Armed Services Committee.
The White House slammed the assignments, with spokesman Ian Sams telling Axios, “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.”
“Republicans are handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories,” he said.
Ritchie Torres, former vice chair of the Homeland Security Committee, tweeted he was “horrified” by Greene’s assignment to the group.