- A group of House Republicans are calling on McCarthy to punish Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger, per CNN.
- The group wants the pair to lose their other committee assignments for joining the Jan. 6 panel.
- The conference is incensed that Speaker Pelosi booted Reps. Banks and Jordan from the committee.
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A “growing group” of House Republicans are pushing GOP leadership to penalize Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for agreeing to serve on the Democratic-led Jan. 6 select committee, according to a CNN report.
The push for retaliation strengthened on Sunday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Kinzinger, who has spoken out forcefully against former President Donald Trump in the past, had agreed to serve on the panel.
Last week, Pelosi rejected the selection of GOP Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio to join the committee investigating the Capitol riot, citing “concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members.”
The move upset GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said that he would pull every Republican member from the committee and pursue a separate Jan. 6 investigation, an effort that Pelosi dismissed last week.
Sources told CNN that Kinzinger’s selection has put “a new level of pressure on McCarthy” from members, with criticism increasingly coming from rank-and-file members and not solely the most conservative wing of the party.
According to the report, an effort is brewing to remove Cheney and Kinzinger from their other committee assignments in retaliation for serving on the panel after Banks and Jordan were shut out.
“Supporting Pelosi’s unprecedented move to reject McCarthy’s picks was a bridge too far,” a GOP member told CNN.
GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, a member of the deeply conservative Freedom Caucus, called on House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik to initiate a special conference meeting to “address appropriate measures” concerning Pelosi’s rejection of McCarthy’s picks.
“Speaker Pelosi’s attempt to stack this committee will not go unchecked,” Perry tweeted last week.
According to CNN, several members want McCarthy and Stefanik to force a vote removing Cheney and Kinzinger from their other committee assignments.
While McCarthy could potentially drop Cheney and Kinzinger from their committees, Pelosi still maintains power over committee memberships and could quickly place the pair back on their respective panels.
Conservatives were pleased that McCarthy pulled other Republicans from serving on the panel, but continue to feel as though Cheney and Kinzinger should be punished “for not remaining loyal to the conference,” according to CNN.
McCarthy’s office did not comment to CNN about any internal efforts to punish Kinzinger and Cheney.
Sources told the network that McCarthy and GOP leadership hoped to steer clear of a drawn-out battle over possible reprimands against the two members.
McCarthy also told a group of freshman Republicans that if they accepted a seat on the Jan. 6 panel from Pelosi, then they should anticipate getting their remaining committee assignments from the Democratic speaker.
The comments left some members looking to the Republican leader for action against Cheney and Kinzinger.
“Plenty of people wondering the same things,” another GOP member told CNN. “If they are accepting appointments from Nancy Pelosi rather than the GOP, haven’t they already effectively left? Perhaps they should ask Speaker Pelosi for committee assignments?”
Cheney, who in May was removed from her leadership role as House Republican Conference Chair over her criticism of Trump, has expressed little concern with the political outcome of her decision to serve on the Jan. 6 panel.
“My oath, my duty, all of our oaths, all of our duty are to the Constitution and that will always be my focus, not politics,” she said earlier this month.