Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) appointed two of his conservative critics to the House Rules Committee on Monday following this month’s protracted Speaker’s race, when the GOP leader agreed to increase the number of hard-line Republicans on the panel.
McCarthy appointed GOP Reps. Ralph Norman (S.C.) and Chip Roy (Texas) to the powerful panel, giving them a seat on the committee that controls how bills are debated on the House floor after the pair voted against McCarthy’s Speakership bid on the first 11 ballots earlier this month.
The two Republicans — both of whom are members of the House Freedom Caucus — switched to support McCarthy on the 12th ballot but only after extracting a number of concessions from the GOP leader. One of those agreements was to seat three hard-line conservative members on the Rules Committee.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), another conservative lawmaker, was also appointed to the Rules Committee by McCarthy. He is not, however, a member of the Freedom Caucus.
The appointments of Norman, Roy and Massie, nonetheless, fulfill McCarthy’s promise to put hard-line Republicans on the panel.
Republican Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.), Michelle Fischbach, Erin Houchin (Ind.) and Nick Langworthy (N.Y.) also received appointments to the Rules Committee.
Burgess, Reschenthaler and Fischbach all served on the panel in the last Congress, and Cole, who was previously ranking member of the panel, will serve as chairman.
Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.), the ranking Democrat on Rules, had a one-word response to the GOP appointments on Twitter: “Yikes.”
McCarthy’s agreement to appoint more hard-line conservatives to the Rules Committee was a key concession in the deal he struck with his holdouts that helped increase his support for the Speakership. In the two ballots after the deal leaked to the press — the 11th and 12th — a total of 14 Republicans flipped from opposing McCarthy to supporting him, giving him a significant boost in his quest for the Speakership.
The appointment of Norman, Roy and Massie to the Rules panel gives them significant influence over when legislation is brought to the floor and how it is debated in the 118th Congress. The panel also has jurisdiction over the amendment process for bills.
Their elevations to the panel also mean that they could have a strong sway over whether legislation is sent to the floor, depending on the ratio of Republicans to Democrats on the committee.
In the last Congress, the majority party had nine lawmakers on the Rules Committee and the minority party had four — meaning if three members of the majority objected, the rule would not pass.
McCarthy on Monday also announced members to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the newly created House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party. The House created the China select committee after passing a bipartisan resolution earlier this month.
Republican Reps. Michael Turner (Ohio), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Chris Stewart (Utah), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Trent Kelly (Miss.), Darin LaHood (Ill.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Austin Scott (Ga.), French Hill (Ark.), Dan Crenshaw (Texas), Michael Waltz (Fla.) and Mike Garcia (Calif.) all received appointments to the Intelligence Committee, which will be headed by Turner.
And Gallagher and GOP Reps. Rob Wittman (Va.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Andy Barr (Ky.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), John Moolenaar (Mich.) Neal Dunn (Fla.), Jim Banks (Ind.), Dusty Johnson (S.D.), Michelle Steel (Calif.), Carlos Gimenez (Fla.) and LaHood will serve on the China select committee, with Gallagher as chairman.