New House Panel Will Investigate Feds

Democrats slam formation of committee on 'weaponization' of government
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2023 9:07 PM CST
New House Panel Will Investigate 'Weaponization' of Federal Government
Speaker Kevin McCarthy walks from the House floor on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It took 15 votes for House Republicans to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker last week, but they were a lot less divided Tuesday, when they voted to establish a committee to investigate federal law enforcement, Big Tech, and the Biden administration. In a 221-211 party-line vote, the House voted to launch the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which will be led by Rep. Jim Jordan, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to a draft resolution, the panel will look at how the executive branch works with law enforcement and companies like those behind Google and Meta "collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States."

Jordan said Monday that when the panel's membership is finalized, its first job will to look at alleged Justice Department efforts "to go after parents" amid a rise in threats to school board members since the start of the pandemic, the AP reports. Democrats slammed the vote to form the committee, saying it was "attacking law enforcement" as partisan payback for the Justice Department's investigation of Donald Trump and the broader Jan.6 investigation, reports the New York Times. The committee will have broad reach to scrutinize government agencies and will be able to access classified information, including information on ongoing criminal investigation.

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern likened the committee to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, reports the Times. "I call it the McCarthy committee, and I’m not talking about Kevin; I’m talking about Joe," McGovern said. “This committee is nothing more than a deranged ploy by the MAGA extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party and now want to use taxpayer money to push their far-right conspiracy nonsense." The formation of another committee had bipartisan support Tuesday, the AP reports. Almost 150 Democrats voted with Republicans to establish a committee to investigate "strategic competition" between the US and China. (Read more House of Representatives stories.)

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