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Process to Elect a Speaker Solidified the MAGA GOP Agenda: Investigations to Hurt Biden and Protect Trump, Santos and Insurrectionists

Jan 7, 2023

PRESS RELEASE                   Contact:
For Immediate Release
Date: January 7, 2023


Washington, DC – Last night, after a grueling week of votes and an embarrassing showing on the House floor, Representative Kevin McCarthy was finally elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Nearly all the deals McCarthy had to cut this week and the weeks before involved giving MAGA firm control of the Speakership, principally to launch investigations to hurt President Biden and shield the likes of Donald Trump, George Santos, and insurrectionists from accountability. 

Notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz, who agreed late last night to help get McCarthy over the top and now holds enormous sway over the Speaker,  said earlier this week that the MAGA GOP House Majority should focus on politically motivated investigations instead of passing legislation.  It’s now clear he, Trump and their MAGA election denying allies will get their way. 

In response to the agenda of investigations and political attacks which Republicans have agreed on, many of which will be enshrined into the rules package to be passed Monday, Congressional Integrity Project executive director Kyle Herrig said the following,

“In agreeing to let Kevin McCarthy limp across the finish line into the speakership, MAGA Republicans finally unified around their only agenda: politically motivated investigations designed to harm their political opponents, protect themselves and Donald Trump from accountability, and gain more power to enact their extreme agenda.

“McCarthy and all the other MAGA Republicans currently running the House of Representatives don’t care about doing the job they were elected to do and solving real problems for Americans. They only care about the harm they can do to their political opponents, saving their own skins and shielding the likes of Donald Trump and George Santos from accountability.”

The MAGA Investigative Agenda:

  • Impeach Secretary Mayorkas: Kevin McCarthy spent the weeks before the midterm elections downplaying the possibility that Republicans would use a House majority to impeach President Biden or members of his administration.  Within days of securing his narrow majority McCarthy started singing a different tune in a bid to attract support from the far right of his caucus, visiting the southwest border and calling on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign or face potential impeachment proceedings in a Republican House. 
  • Gut House Ethics Enforcement:  Buried in McCarthy’s proposed rules was a provision that will effectively gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), providing protection from oversight for members like George Santos and the lawmakers who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol .McCarthy’s proposal would require OCE to hire its staff for the 118th Congress within 30 days of the resolution’s adoption, a requirement that would make it exceedingly difficult for the office to have the resources it needs to conduct its investigations. The proposal would also block OCE from hiring new employees over the next two years if someone leaves their position. 
  • Let Marjorie Taylor Greene Dictate The Oversight Agenda:  McCarthy embraced far right conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene during his campaign for the speaker’s office, promising to restore her to her committee positions, including the possibility of a seat on the coveted House Oversight Committee. Greene has reportedly also been promised that Republicans will investigate Nancy Pelosi and the Justice Department for their treatment of defendants jailed in connection with January 6. 
  • Establish A Committee To “Investigate” The FBI, Including Ongoing Criminal Investigations: McCarthy gave in to a key demand of the far right and agreed to establish a select subcommittee to investigate “weaponization” of the federal government with the same staffing and resources given to the January 6 committee.  This subcommittee will be given sweeping investigatory powers that include explicit authority to review “ongoing criminal investigations,” like the investigations into former president Trump.  McCarthy’s proposed rules also give this panel power to access any information shared with the House Intelligence Committee, including the highest-level classified intelligence briefings. 
  • Establish More Committees To Investigate China, Dr. Fauci, And Covid Conspiracies:  Other investigative committees promised by McCarthy in his bid to win the gavel include establishing a select committee on China and a select committee on the coronavirus to probe the virus’s origins again, subpoena Dr. Fauci, and investigate other covid conspiracies.