What the 21 McCarthy holdouts got in committee assignments


WASHINGTON — The 21 House Republicans who initially blocked Rep. Kevin McCarthy from winning the speakership had demanded big changes to House rules, but they also wanted more influence on the congressional committees that will set the GOP agenda over the next two years.

While not every holdout got exactly what he or she had asked for, some won plum committee assignments from McCarthy, R-Calif., and his allies after they helped him secure the speaker’s gavel, a process that took 15 rounds of voting.

Here’s what we know as of Tuesday evening:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a former head of the Freedom Caucus and one of the five so-called Never Kevins, will keep his spot on the powerful Judiciary Committee. He changed his vote to “present” on the final ballot for speaker, helping push McCarthy over the finish line.
  • Rep. Dan Bishop of South Carolina, one of 13 holdouts who flipped to back McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will continue to serve on the Judiciary Committee.
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a vocal McCarthy critic who voted “present” on the 14th and 15th ballots, was awarded a seat on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, which plans to launch numerous investigations into the Biden administration. She will continue to serve on the Natural Resources panel, on which she served in the previous Congress.
  • Freshman Rep. Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, won a seat on the Homeland Security Committee.
  • Rep. Mike Cloud of Texas, who also flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, won a new seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which controls federal spending.
  • Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, another lawmaker who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will serve for the first time on Appropriations.
  • Freshman Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona, who voted “present” on the 15th ballot, will serve on the Homeland Security Committee.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who was nominated to run against McCarthy for speaker and flipped to him on the 12th ballot, was named by McCarthy as the “speaker’s designee” on the influential Steering Committee, which decides which lawmakers get committee gavels and seats. Donalds also won a coveted spot on the Financial Services Committee, a top panel known on Capitol Hill as an “A” committee.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, perhaps the most vocal McCarthy foe during the speaker fight, who flipped to “present” in the 14th round, will continue to serve on the Judiciary panel.
  • Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, one of the Never Kevins who flipped to “present” in the last round of voting, has not gotten his committee assignments yet.
  • Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, was reinstated by Republicans on two committees —Oversight and Natural Resources panels — after Democrats removed him two years ago for posting threats to lawmakers on social media.
  • Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who flipped to McCarthy on the 13th ballot, will continue to serve on the Appropriations panel. Harris, a physician, will be the chairman of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration subcommittee.
  • Freshman Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, won a seat on the Natural Resources panel.
  • Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will remain on the Agriculture Committee.
  • Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, one of the Never Kevins who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will remain on the Financial Services panel, which he joined in June.
  • Freshman Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, also won a seat on Financial Services.
  • Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, the chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, who brokered a deal between conservatives and McCarthy, will remain on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana, a Never Kevin who flipped to “present” on the final ballot, will continue to serve on Natural Resources.
  • Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, who along with Perry helped negotiate a deal with McCarthy, will keep his seat on the Judiciary panel.
  • Freshman Rep. Keith Self, R-Texas, who flipped to McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will serve on the Foreign Affairs panel.
  • Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who flipped from “present” to vote for McCarthy on the 12th ballot, will continue to serve on the Judiciary panel.

In addition to committee assignments, McCarthy had made other concessions to his right flank. He vowed that Freedom Caucus members would get three seats on the speaker-controlled Rules Committee, which decides exactly how bills are considered on the House floor.

In the package of rules changes McCarthy and the Freedom Caucus negotiated for the 118th Congress was a provision allowing a single lawmaker to force a floor vote to oust McCarthy as speaker.

Some Freedom Caucus members who stuck with McCarthy from the very start also did well for themselves. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a McCarthy ally whom Democrats stripped of her committee assignments two years ago, won seats on the Oversight and Homeland Security committees.

Meanwhile, Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio, another Freedom Caucus member and McCarthy ally, was named chairman of the Financial Services subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.

Haley Talbot contributed.





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