House Democrats are currently preparing for a potential fight with the new GOP majority over which Representatives should be selected to serve in the different committees. Currently, the Democrats are pushing for Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) to sit on the Intelligence Committee, despite Republicans previously saying that they would not get to have positions in that committee. Similarly, Republicans had vowed to keep Rep. Ilhan Omar, off the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but it is expected that the Democrats will name him for the committee in any case.
In the expected fights the Democrats are expected to use Rep. George Santos, as leverage as they will question which behaviors should disqualify Representatives from serving in committees. Santos is currently facing a number of investigations over the lies he told regarding his background and his campaign funding.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), when nominating Schiff and Swalwell to the Intelligence Committee, pointed out how Santos, a “serial fraudster” had been given a seat in the committee. He added that this is clearly a double standard and it does not align with Congress’s needs for bipartisan cooperation.
The letter containing these comments from Jeffries was sent to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). While many have called for Santos to completely lose his seat in the House, McCarthy defended his decision to give him committee assignments by saying that he had been lawfully and fairly elected. He then added that Santos would potentially need to face an investigation by the House Ethics Committee if necessary.