As House Republicans plan the formation of myriad select committees to investigate federal agencies and government misconduct, their Democratic counterparts have announced plans to participate in each of them.
In the past Congress, Republicans largely boycotted Democratic investigative subcommittees. Then-minority leader Kevin McCarthy did nominate a slate of Republicans to participate in the Jan. 6 Committee’s efforts, but balked at then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to accept two of his picks. Instead, anti-Trump Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Ill., and Liz Cheney, Wyo., joined the panel, while more mainstream Republicans derided the entire effort as a partisan farce.
Democrats have indicated they intend to take a different approach, and aim to appoint Democrats to “every select committee, every subcommittee that the leadership on the majority side advances,” according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., who told reporters such on Tuesday.
“It’s in our best interest to make sure we are representing the will of the caucus and the American public, and that Republicans don’t have an opportunity behind closed doors to shape, and to add to, these conspiracy theories,” he said, according to The Hill.
Of particular note is the impending formation of a Republican-led subcommittee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government, which Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan will lead. Aguilar dubbed that body the “tin-foil hat” committee.
The formation of the Jordan-led group was one of several critical concessions to which House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to placate his detractors and secure enough support from his own party to claim leadership of the lower chamber.
The committee’s powers will be extensive, as members will have access to the same materials ordinarily under the purview of the House Intelligence Committee, meaning it will be able to peruse the highest levels of classified materials.
Moreover, it may review “ongoing” investigations, granting the possibility of overseeing the Department of Justice’s handling of a case involving classified documents recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Aguilar has not indicated which Democrats might participate in any of the GOP-led committees.