Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 1.27.23
Committee Assignments: Schiff, Swalwell, Griffith
Friday, January 27, 2023 | Mollie Timmons (202-225-3861)
The 118th Congress is underway, and committee assignments for the term are just about finalized. A process that is usually pretty routine, committee assignments have gotten some attention over the past couple of years and especially in the past few days. For some, it’s as it was before. For others, not so straightforward.
While I’m thrilled to share the welcome news of retaining my committee and subcommittee memberships and receiving additional responsibilities for this Congress, not everyone received such good news.
Some members, like Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, saw their committee responsibilities diminished.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy decided that he would remove the two members from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, or “Intel” Committee, for the 118th Congress.
Speaker McCarthy spoke with reporters recently explaining his decision to remove Schiff, the former Chairman of the Intel Committee, after Schiff falsely claimed for years that he had proof of Russia colluding with former President Trump. “What Adam Schiff did was use his power as the Chairman and lie to the American public, even the Inspector General said it… when we had a laptop, he used it before an election to play politics and said that it was false. He said it was the Russians when he knew differently. He knew the intel.”
McCarthy also spoke with reporters about his decision to remove Swalwell, who engaged in a relationship with a Chinese spy, one that gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) pause. “The FBI was concerned about putting a member of Congress on the Intel Committee that has the right to see things others don’t because of his knowledge and relationship with a Chinese spy,” McCarthy said. Saying further, “Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector. I’m not going to give him a government security clearance.”
The Intel Committee provides oversight of the United States Intelligence Community, a critical component of our country’s national security. Members on the Committee are given access to very sensitive, classified information that other Members of Congress don’t have access to.
Both Schiff and Swalwell’s situations are concerning. When it comes to the national security of our nation, there is no playing politics.
Unlike, Nancy Pelosi’s decision to break precedent by rejecting the proposed slate of Republicans for the January 6 “Select Committee” and hand-picking Republicans that would not disagree with her position, McCarthy’s decision to not seat Schiff or Swalwell was not political.
Americans must and should have confidence that all Members of the Intel Committee can pass the high scrutiny needed to be privy to the most classified, sensitive information in the nation.
In my opinion, our nation is now safer because of Speaker McCarthy’s decision to remove them from the Committee.
Meanwhile, I was again chosen to serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which I have served on since first joining Congress.
This term, I have been asked to chair Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. It is an exciting opportunity because I will be leading efforts to conduct crucial oversight of federal agencies that fall within the Committee’s jurisdiction while ensuring that Congressional intent is followed. This Subcommittee has the authority to place witnesses under oath and when necessary, exercises its subpoena power.
As a senior member of the Subcommittee on Energy, I will continue to promote an all-of-the-above energy policy. During the last two years, we’ve seen the effects of a lopsided approach to energy and now leaders in Washington must alleviate the current high costs of energy and food through an all-of-the-above approach that prioritizes both our abundant national resources and American’s pocketbooks.
While serving as a member of the Subcommittee on Health, I will focus on improving health care for Virginians. Republican Members will continue to promote telehealth, combat our opioid and mental health crises, and work to lower overall health care costs while increasing access to care.
In addition to Energy and Commerce, I was one of six Republican members to be appointed to the Committee on House Administration by Speaker McCarthy.
The House Administration Committee plays a unique role here in Congress due to its dual focus. Part of our job will be focused on Capitol Hill, overseeing the daily operations of the House of Representatives and Capitol security, including lapses in security on Jan. 6, 2021.
Another job of this Committee is providing oversight of federal elections.
While not well known, the House Administration Committee has a large and significant portfolio.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405, my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671, or my Washington office at 202-225-3861. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.
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