House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he would reinstate Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on committees – potentially even “better” ones – if Republicans win back the House after next year’s midterms.
“They’ll have committees,” McCarthy said at his weekly news conference. “They may have other committee assignments, they may have better ones. … Taylor Greene, she was just a freshman. She has a right to serve on committees.”
The California Republican also hinted that a GOP majority may kick some House Democrats off their committee seats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Pelosi has set new policies here. Those same members that I talked about in my speech … voted for these new policies,” McCarthy said, alluding to Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters of California, Adam Schiff of California, Eric Swalwell of California and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “This isn’t about threats, but it’s about holding people accountable.
“I think the majority is going to have to approve any of those members on the committees on which they can serve,” he added.
Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju earlier Thursday that she is not concerned that Republicans plan to retaliate and strip Democrats from their committee spots should the GOP win the House majority next year.
Asked by CNN if she was at all concerned about retribution, Pelosi replied, “No, we would not walk away from our responsibilities for fear of something they may do in the future.”
Gosar was censured for posting a photoshopped anime video to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. He eventually took the post down but retweeted a tweet that contained the video hours after being censured Wednesday.
Greene was stripped of her committee assignments in February in the wake of incendiary and violent past statements that were unearthed shortly after she was sworn in.
She also pushed back on the possibility that Republicans take the chamber, saying that “their behavior on the floor says they shouldn’t have a gavel anywhere near them.”
At his news conference, McCarthy bristled at the suggestion that the GOP is only willing to punish members of their conference who defy Donald Trump. He disputed the idea that Republican Rep. Liz Cheney – who was booted from GOP leadership for calling out Trump’s election lies – was punished, saying she just “lost an election.”
“We hold our members to a high standard,” he said. “It’s interesting to me how the Democrats want rules for thee, but not for me. That’s not right. And we’ll change that when we’re in the majority.”
McCarthy said the last time he talked to Trump was earlier this morning, saying the former President called him up from the golf course.
“Catching up,” McCarthy said of their conversation. “Wasn’t even campaign [related] either. I have lots of friends. I talk to lots of people.”