Handful of McCarthy detractors get new top committee assignments

Four of the Republicans whose votes against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) led to a historic four-day Speakership floor fight last week will get new roles on top committees.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and first-term Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) will join the House Financial Services Committee, while Reps. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) will join the House Appropriations Committee.

The House Republican Steering Committee, a panel of around 30 leaders and elected regional representatives, met on Wednesday to make selections for the so-called A committees: the powerful Appropriations, Ways and Means, Financial Services, and Energy and Commerce panels. It has not yet populated the other committees.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), another one of the 20 members who voted against McCarthy, will keep his slot on the Financial Services Committee. He joined the panel in June 2022.

Clyde told The Hill on Wednesday that he was “very excited” to join the Appropriations panel and work to pass 12 regular individual appropriations bills — a commitment that McCarthy made to secure the Speakership. Congress has not approved all 12 of those regular bills on time since 1997.

“Conservatives need to be represented on these committees in order to make sure that we have a government that is financially and fiscally responsible,” Clyde said.

GOP leadership and the McCarthy detractors who eventually negotiated concessions that led to his election on the 15th ballot have said that no one was promised specific committee assignments as part of their deal.

But House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said during a press conference on Tuesday that the agreement involved “making sure that our committees are represented by a whole swath of our membership,” a commitment that has also been described as ensuring that hard-line conservative members like those in the House Freedom Caucus have spots on top committees.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), a House Freedom Caucus member who was supportive of McCarthy during the floor battle, was also named to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The issue of desired committee assignments became a brief flashpoint during the Speaker battle. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) alleged that after they asked for more conservative representation on top committees, McCarthy asked for a list of which members might want to sit on various panels and then used that list to portray the holdouts as trying to exert personal profile-boosting concessions.

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