Kevin McCarthy appoints GOP members to sit on committees investigating ‘militarization’ of federal government and origins of COVID-19

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday which Republicans will sit on selected politically charged subcommittees that will investigate the “militarization” of the federal government and the origins of COVID-19.

The House voted along party lines earlier this month to create the Federal Government’s Select Arming Subcommittee to investigate civil liberties issues and how the government and private companies collect and analyze information about Americans, according to the resolution establishing the panel.

The militarization subcommittee is also expected to investigate ongoing criminal investigations, particularly those related to the rioters accused of storming the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, and the two criminal investigations of former President Donald Trump, for his mishandling of classified documents and presidential papers. and his alleged role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy speaks during a press conference outside his office at the U.S. Capitol on January 24, 2023.
Getty Images/Drew Angerer

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not to prosecute them. Unfortunately, throughout the Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington, we have seen a dangerous pattern in which the government was used to target political opponents as they neglected their most basic responsibilities,” McCarthy said in a statement. releases announcing their appointments.

The militarization subcommittee was championed by members of the House Freedom Caucus who refused to vote for McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker until they were assured that the panel’s composition would contain a representation of their caucus.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was tasked by McCarthy to lead the new panel on militarization.

Jordan has long criticized the alleged politicization of the FBI and Justice Department, accusing the agencies of targeting conservatives.


Representative Jim Jordan
Representative Jim Jordan will lead the new panel on militarization.
Getty Images/Drew Angerer

“This is about the First Amendment, something that was close to your heart. And I was actually hoping that we could get a bipartisan agreement on protecting the First Amendment — the five rights we enjoy as Americans. under the First Amendment,” Jordan said earlier this month as the House debated the measure establishing the panel.

“We don’t want to sue anyone, we just want this to stop. And we want to uphold the First Amendment to the Constitution that the greatest country in the world has. That’s what this committee is for, and that’s what we’re going to focus on, that’s what we’re going to do,” he added.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Chip Roy (R- Texas), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) and Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.).


Representative Darrell Issa
Representative Darrell Issa will be part of the sub-committee.
AP/Alex Brandon

Hageman, who ousted former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the former deputy chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, in Wyoming’s 2022 primary, is the only House freshman on the panel.

Roy and Bishop initially voted against McCarthy for Speaker of the House.

“The American people deserve answers to the myriad of questions resulting from their own government’s flagrant disregard for Americans’ rights and freedoms,” Roy said. wrote in a tweet Tuesday after his appointment. “This subcommittee will not be afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead and expose the militarization of the federal government.”

Bishop offered a warning to federal government employees after learning of his selection.

“Honored to be part of the select subcommittee. If you are a bureaucrat who violates Americans’ rights, prepare yourself. We will certainly be busy”, bishop tweeted.

Stefanik, the GOP conference chair, released a statement promising to “hold the DOJ and FBI accountable for their longstanding political weaponization.” She also singled out “the IRS, HHS, NIH,” like other agencies the new panel intends to probe.

“The American people witnessed the corrupt DOJ and FBI fully armed against political opponents of the Biden administration as they carried out an unprecedented raid on President Trump’s home, illegally paid Twitter to delete stories for policies and continued to cover the Biden crime family. ,” she added.

“There are serious questions about how government agencies have managed to get away with it for so long, and we will see how these corrupt agencies are weaponized against ordinary Americans. Accountability is coming and House Republicans will deliver government accountable to the people,” his statement concluded.

It looks like Democrats will only have three seats on the Weaponization Committee, one of which will be Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Judiciary Committee’s most senior member.

The House created a panel on the coronavirus crisis in 2020, but under the new House Republican majority, a new subcommittee on the COVID-19 pandemic will be formed to investigate the origins of the virus and the role of government federal in the financing of the gain of the research of function.

McCarthy promised on Tuesday that members of the coronavirus panel will “finally get answers about the origins of Covid and the federal government’s gain in office that contributed to the pandemic.”

He chose Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) to lead the select subcommittee and named Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona), Michael Cloud (R-Texas), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), and Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) as GOP members.


Kevin McCarthy
The militarization subcommittee is filled with members of the House Freedom Caucus who refused to vote for McCarthy.
Getty Images

Wenstrup, a physician by trade and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus, has repeatedly expressed concern that COVID-19 was the result of US-funded gain-of-function research that took place in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. He introduced legislation that would ban direct and indirect funding of gain-of-function research in China and other countries.

Greene, whose Twitter account was suspended last year for violating the social media company’s policy on COVID-19 misinformation, was named to the panel by McCarthy after her unwavering support for his bid for president. Greene voted for McCarthy on all 15 ballots in the marathon process.

The GOP firebrand is returning to the panels after the Democratic-led House stripped her of committee assignments in 2021 after social media posts she made endorsing conspiracy theories resurfaced.

McCarthy vowed that Greene would have his privileges to serve on reinstated committees in a Republican-controlled house and last week also assigned Greene to the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

“I will never leave this woman,” McCarthy told a friend, according to a New York Times report on Monday.

“I will always take care of her,” he added of his close bond with the representative from Georgia, who is in her second term in Congress.

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