Republican insiders are expressing concern about the ability of the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee to keep far-right members under control as they launch investigations into conspiracy theories aimed at the administration of President Joe Biden.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) now heads the committee after the GOP became the majority party after the midterm election.
As the Journal's Natalie Andrews wrote, Comer is now tasked with pushing investigations into various members of the Biden administration while at the same time keeping members like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) -- all of whom sit on his committee -- from going off the rails.
With Andrews writing that Comer is "... aiming to perform serious oversight while also balancing the demands of a committee stocked with members eager to grab the spotlight," Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) stated, "God bless him. It’s a challenging job—the subject matter is difficult and then managing people’s expectations on what you can achieve, given the time frame you have and the power that you have.”
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The Journal reports, "Already there have been flashpoints. Mr. Gosar sparked controversy during a hearing on border policy when he cast illegal crossings as potentially part of an effort to change American culture. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the committee, sparred with Mr. Comer over a Democratic tweet that called on committee members to renounce 'great replacement theory,' a conspiracy theory that says current Americans are being intentionally replaced by immigrants."
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) also said Comer has his work cut out for him, telling the Journal, "There’s going to be a tightwire act. I knew that he wants our committee to be taken seriously and be substantive. And we’re relying on his leadership to do that.”
Democrat Raskin also expressed concern for what Comer will have to deal with.
"I don’t envy his situation, because he is going to have to navigate between a more conventional legislative approach and the demands of the large bevy of new MAGA members who have joined the committee,” he stated.
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