Republican House leader says disciplined members could get reinstated in 2023

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FILE PHOTO: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) walks through the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON – Two Republican lawmakers who were stripped of their committee assignments over threats against Democrats can expect to be reinstated, if their party wins control of the U.S. House of Representatives in next year’s elections, the chamber’s top Republican said on Thursday.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Representatives Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who were punished by the current Democratic majority, would have the right to serve on committees with Republicans in charge.

“They may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments,” McCarthy told reporters a day after the House censured Gosar for posting an anime video that depicted him killing Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and swinging a pair of swords at President Joe Biden.

Greene, a first-term lawmaker, was stripped of her committee assignments in February over incendiary remarks that included support for violence against Democrats.

Gosar lost seats on the Oversight and Reform Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, while Greene was removed from the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee.

The Gosar and Greene cases underscore the growing intensity of threatening rhetoric in Congress, 10 months after thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers prepared to certify his election defeat.

McCarthy has refused to discipline either Gosar or Greene, both staunch Trump allies. But on Wednesday he said Republicans might prevent certain Democrats from serving on committees if they win control of the chamber.

In 2019, House Republicans removed Republican Representative Steve King from his committees after he questioned why white supremacy is considered offensive in an interview. He was defeated by another Republican in a primary election in 2020.

(Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Andy Sullivan and Marguerita Choy)