GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips


Multiple House Democrats who are frequent top targets of the far right face the prospect of losing their committee assignments if Republicans win back the chamber next year.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has threatened to retaliate after Democrats stripped GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) of committee seats this Congress, warning that some liberal lawmakers “will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future.”

None of the Democrats singled out by McCarthy as examples of who could be removed from House committees have embraced conspiracy theories or promoted violence against their political opponents the way Greene and Gosar have.

But that’s not stopping Republicans from warning of a scorched-earth environment if they win back the House, as many poll watchers expect.

McCarthy has also pledged to restore Gosar's and Greene’s committee assignments.

Democrats maintain that they’ve only adhered to a precedent of taking punitive action against lawmakers who promoted political violence in the absence of a formal rebuke from GOP leaders.

“Let me be clear: If a Democrat did the same thing, I would introduce the same resolution,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who led the original resolution to censure Gosar for posting an anime video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and swinging swords at President Biden.

Democrats defended last week’s vote to censure Gosar and take away his committee seats as necessary given the unprecedented level of violent threats that lawmakers still face months after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But some Democrats acknowledged that the possibility of Republicans engaging in payback is real.

“They've made very clear that that is their intent,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Here are the House Democrats who could be at risk of losing their committee seats and why.

Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.)

Waters, the House Financial Services Committee chairwoman and senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has long been a target of former President Trump and the far right for her no-holds-barred attacks on the GOP.

In 2018, Waters urged people to confront Trump administration officials in public spaces and “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere” over policies that resulted in separating migrant families. And the year before that, Waters told a crowd that she would “go and take out Trump tonight.”

Republicans have already sought to censure Waters this year while still in the House minority.

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Submitted 54 days ago

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