House Republicans voted Tuesday to create a select subcommittee with the goal of investigating the “weaponization” of the federal government.
Lawmakers voted 221 to 211 along party lines in favor of establishing the select committee, which will be chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and will serve as a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
In addition to Jordan, 58, who also chairs the full House Judiciary Committee, the panel will be made up of 13 representatives, chosen by newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Of that total, there are expected to be five Democrats picked, in consultation with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
“America’s greatness is defined by the freedoms enshrined by our founders. When government colludes with private companies to infringe on those rights, it MUST answer for that abuse,” McCarthy tweeted Tuesday afternoon, after establishing the subcommittee.
The tweet stated the panel “will bring accountability.”
The panel is authorized “to collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations.” Its formation is seen as a concession to the House Freedom Caucus, which demanded concession in return for supporting McCarthy’s bid for House speaker.
Its scope also covers reviewing how federal agencies gather information and any communication they may have with the private sector while doing so.
“This is about the First Amendment, something you guys used to care about. And I’d actually hoped we could get bipartisan agreement on protecting the First Amendment — the five rights we enjoy as Americans under the First Amendment,” Jordan said on the House floor Tuesday
“We don’t want to go after anyone, we just want it to stop. And we want to respect the First Amendment to the Constitution that the greatest country in the world has,” Jordan said. “That’s what this committee is all about, and that’s what we’re gonna focus on, that’s what we are going to do.”
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