The news emerged this week that Republicans would be putting House members from their party including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Scott Perry, and Lauren Boebert on the House Oversight Committee, setting up what will no doubt be attention-grabbing hearings and antagonistic investigative pushes.
Greene and Gosar, of course, previously lost their roles on committees via bipartisan votes in the House in connection to concerns including their promotion of violence. The Biden administration joined those expressing outrage over the picks and pointing to some of the potentially destabilizing implications of accepting the extremism they represent.
“As we have said before, the Biden Administration stands ready to work in good faith to accommodate Congress’ legitimate oversight needs,” spokesperson Ian Sams said. “However, with these members joining the Oversight Committee, it appears that House Republicans may be setting the stage for divorced-from-reality political stunts, instead of engaging in bipartisan work on behalf of the American people. Chairman Comer once said his goal was to ensure the Committee’s work is ‘credible,’ yet Republicans are handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories.”
Sams subsequently referenced some of the problems in the past behavior of the Republicans who will now be on the oversight panel, including how Perry defied a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot, undercutting the idea he takes oversight in general very seriously. Sams also spoke to concerns about the deals that may have been struck before House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was finally able to secure the votes necessary to become House Speaker. The thin Republican majority in the chamber meant a small group of Republicans were able to derail McCarthy’s path to getting the support from a majority of the members of the chamber voting for someone that he needed.
GOP leaders in the House should reveal “what secret deals they made to the extreme MAGA members in order to elect a Speaker,” Sams said. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is leading the oversight panel in the new Congress, has already turned to an examination of the classified documents that trace back to Joe Biden’s time as vice president found at locations associated with the current commander-in-chief. Comer asked for logs showing visitors to a Delaware home of the president, although the White House counsel’s office indicated there are no such logs, as would be expected. (Separately, it’s clear that contrary to assertions from Trump — who, unlike Biden, engaged in an extensive pattern of what might eventually be deemed criminal obstruction — the house was secured rather than left completely open. The Secret Service handled security.)
“Like every President across decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,” the administration counsel’s office said. “But upon taking office, President Biden restored the norm and tradition of keeping White House visitors logs, including publishing them regularly, after the previous administration ended them.”
First to @NBCNews: WH Spox, Ian Sams, reacts to MTG, Gosar, Boebert & Perry on Oversight Cmte, saying “Republicans are handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories.” pic.twitter.com/0VQWCOnvn4
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) January 18, 2023