Some conservatives claim that the removal of Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) from the influential Senate Commerce Committee is retaliation for the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership challenge from the previous year (R-KY).
Scott and Lee are prominent members of the so-called “Breakfast Club,” which has publicly voiced its complaints with McConnell and the GOP leadership. The Florida junior senator, who unsuccessfully sought McConnell’s position soon after the midterm elections, has been an outspoken opponent of McConnell and claims that he is directly to blame for the firing.
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Scott remarked, “This is what happens when you confront leadership.” “It was McConnell’s choice to remove from a committee I’ve been a member of for four years someone who has actually led businesses and managed the third largest state. You’ll have to query him as to why.
The McConnell campaign chose not to comment. After nearly a month into the 118th Congress, the minority leader finally disclosed Senate GOP committee assignments on Wednesday. The Senate will then vote resolutions establishing committees on Thursday.
A precedent set by the Senate Republican Conference that forbids senators from the same state from serving on the same committee without one of them receiving a waiver contributed to the delay. Last Monday, the conference rejected freshman Sen. Eric Schmitt’s (R-MO) request for a waiver to join fellow Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on the Judiciary Committee (R-MO).
Senior senators like Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) would have been removed from the illustrious panel as a result of the action.
Another prominent Breakfast Club member, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), was appointed to the Senate Finance Committee, which is regarded as a more important panel. The Wisconsin senator will no longer participate on the Commerce Committee as he did during the last session and will now only have three tasks to do as opposed to four during that time.
Under the new 51-49 Democratic-controlled Senate, Republicans are likely to lose their even committee representation. Due to their party’s control of the White House, Democrats presided over the previous Congress’s 50-50 Senate, but they also had a power-sharing arrangement with Republicans that guaranteed an even split on committee assignments. As a result, Republicans now have fewer seats on most committees.
Republican Whip John Thune (R-SD) acknowledged that “many snags” occurred during the process but didn’t go into detail about how they occurred. Republican senators rate their choices to determine their allocations. Rankings and seniority are also taken into account. Additionally, there are five new senators in this session’s rookie class, which insiders claim had a role in the committee’s reorganization. According to Scott’s office, he was removed from the committee after placing it in third place. But it also stated that he did not receive a replacement committee assignment.
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