Speaker Kevin McCarthy has barred two Democrats from serving on a key House panel: NPR

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Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., left, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Manuel Balse Cheneta/AP

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Manuel Balse Cheneta/AP


Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., left, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.

Manuel Balse Cheneta/AP

Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of “political retaliation” for blocking California Democrats from serving on the House Intelligence Committee.

“I think this is an unexpected but devastating move by Kevin McCarthy,” Schiff said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

McCarthy rejected a request by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to keep Schiff and Swalwell on the committee. Both members previously served on the panel — Schiff served as chair from 2019 to 2022 — and both were involved in the investigation and impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

The move comes as the new Republican majority lays out plans and priorities for the session aimed at scrutinizing and investigating President Biden’s administration.

As Speaker of the House, McCarthy has the power to approve or reject seats on the Intelligence Committee because it is a “select” committee, and seats on standing committees ultimately require a vote of the House. Republicans who supported the move cited former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to include several members of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

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