Here Are the GOP Lawmakers to Serve on COVID-19 Pandemic, Weaponization of Government Panels
Here Are the GOP Lawmakers to Serve on COVID-19 Pandemic, Weaponization of Government Panels

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released a list of Republican lawmakers who will serve on two select subcommittees to investigate the coronavirus pandemic, and the weaponization of the federal government.

McCarthy on Tuesday announced two lists of the GOP lawmakers’ names.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them. Unfortunately, throughout Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington we saw a dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities,” he said in a statement.

“The 118th Congress marks a new beginning for this institution. Republicans’ governing agenda will be based on transparency, accountability, and solutions,” McCarthy added.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic.”

Per the House Rules for the 118th Congress adopted on Jan. 9, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, while the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary.

The two panels have broad investigative authorities.

Subcommittee on COVID-19 Pandemic

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic will be chaired by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio). Other Republican members are Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Mariannette Miller Meeks (R-Iowa), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Michael Cloud (R-Texas), John Joyce (R-Penn.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), and Rich McCormick (R-Ga.).

Per the House Rules, the select subcommittee is “authorized and directed to conduct a full and complete investigation” and issue a report by Jan. 2, 2025, to the House on: the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the federal government’s funding of gain-of-function research; any waste, fraud, or abuse of taxpayer funds and relief programs; the development of vaccines and treatments, and vaccination policies for federal employees and the military; the economic impact of the pandemic and government response; the societal impact of the decision to close schools; executive branch policies and actions, including internal and external communications related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and more.

Rep. Jackson, in response to being seated on the subcommittee, wrote on Twitter: “Every LIE told to us by Fauci will be revealed. Every LIE about the vaccine will be revealed. Every LIE that was used to LOCK YOU DOWN will be unearthed. We will reveal the TRUTH!”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) addresses supporters during a primary election watch party in Rome, Ga., on May 24, 2022. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Rep. Greene shared on Twitter that she is “honored to serve on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.” She added: “It’s time to reveal the truth on the origins of COVID, the authoritarian Democrat response, vaccines, and Fauci’s NIAID involvement in gain-of-function research.”

The select subcommittee is the GOP counterpoint to the “House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis” that the Democrat-led House established in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Unlike the Democrat-led subcommittee, the latest subcommittee does not have the authority to issue subpoenas, and only the full Committee can do so.

Subcommittee on Weaponization of Government

Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will chair the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Other Republican members are Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Dan Biship (R-N.C.), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), and Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.).

Rep. Stefanik, in a statement issued late Tuesday, said she is “proud to serve on this critical Select Committee that will not only hold the DOJ and the FBI accountable for their longstanding political weaponization against the American people but the entire federal government, including the IRS, HHS, NIH, and many other agencies.”

Stefanik said she “will help lead the charge to root out corruption” in government agencies.

“The American people have witnessed the corrupt DOJ and FBI fully weaponized against the Biden Administration’s political opponents as they conducted an unprecedented raid on President Trump’s home, illegally paid Twitter to suppress stories for political benefit, and continue to cover up for the Biden Crime Family,” she said.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) speaks at a press conference following a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“There are serious questions about how government agencies have gotten away with this for so long, and we will get to the bottom of how these corrupt agencies are being weaponized against everyday Americans. Accountability is coming, and House Republicans will deliver a government accountable to the people.”

Rep. Stewart said in a statement late Tuesday: “Government agencies, including the Department of Justice, have overstepped in recent years, abusing their power to silence or intimidate certain citizens. We will evaluate those powers granted by Congress and establish safeguards that protect all Americans, regardless of their race, religion or ideological beliefs.”

The resolution to create the House subcommittee passed on a party-line vote of 221-211, with all Democrats opposed.

Rep. Massie had previously commented on the need for the committee, writing on Twitter: “If three-letter agencies don’t want the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to question them about violations of Americans’ civil liberties, that’s evidence we need this committee.”

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