McCarthy doubtful Republicans will participate in coronavirus select committee
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he hasn’t determined whether he will appoint any GOP lawmakers to the newly formed special committee overseeing coronavirus stimulus spending, telling reporters he will likely announce his decision next week.
Republicans have been highly critical of the panel — which was recently approved along party lines — arguing it’s politically motivated and unnecessary due to the other watchdog entities in place tasked with overseeing relief spending.
McCarthy said he sees it “as another impeachment committee” aimed at attacking the president, adding that while he supports the Congressional Oversight Commission established in the CARES Act — which he appointed Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) to serve on earlier this month — he doesn’t believe the select committee is intended to conduct bipartisan oversight.
“I was clear with the Speaker, I’m not convinced yet that we even participate. We are going to participate in everything that is fair in the process that has the Senate and has the House, it has an equal weighting, that’s why we have French Hill that reports back to us,” he told reporters during a press call on Thursday.
McCarthy’s comments come just one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced six new Democratic members — Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), Bill Foster (Ill.), Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Andy Kim (N.J.) — to a panel slated to be led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.).
However, the California Republican argued the Speaker’s selections for the panel indicate it is “purely political.”
“I’ll make the decision whether we’re going to participate probably next week. Because this is not viewed as something that’s working for the accountability of the American public. It’s viewed as purely a political operation that they chose at a time, they chose who the chair was to restructure before they even could lay out what the mission is, they voted on it without even giving the public what the mission of this will be,” he said.
“They weighted it to be one-sided. They didn’t allow the Senate in as well. She can argue anything she wants, but it’s purely political, even from the people that she appointed. So I’ll let you all know what my decision is next week.”
Democrats have strongly denied that the creation of the committee is politically motivated, arguing it’s needed to prevent fraud and abuse following the passage of massive levels in emergency funding.
“We are hoping the Republican Leader will name his members soon. We have been in communication. I told him a couple days ago who I was going to be appointing so he can make his own judgments about the committee,” Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.
“But we want it to be as nonpartisan as possible, and very much a part of doing the right thing for the American people,” she added. “And nobody does that better than our distinguished Chair of the Select Committee on the Coronavirus, Mr. Whip, the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Clyburn.”