House Republicans are pushing Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to punish Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney — by revoking their other committee assignments or reprimanding them — as punishment for serving on a select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
CNN reports that the push to punish Cheney and Kinzinger gained steam Sunday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Kinzinger to serve on the select committee — and he accepted.
"Initially, most rank-and-file Republicans were content to let Cheney serve without much of a fight, but Kinzinger's addition has changed the conversation and has put a new level of pressure on McCarthy," the network reports. "While the loudest cries have come from members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, sources say that the sentiment has started to spread beyond the hard-line crew."
One GOP member said "there's a lot" of Republicans behind the push, adding that "supporting Pelosi's unprecedented move to reject McCarthy's picks was a bridge too far."
Another added: "Plenty of people wondering the same things. If they are accepting appointments from Nancy Pelosi rather than the GOP, haven't they already effectively left? Perhaps they should ask Speaker Pelosi for committee assignments?"
Pelosi appointed Kinzinger to the select committee, which is scheduled to meet for the first time this week, after rejecting two of McCarthy's picks, Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. McCarthy responded by pulling his other selections.
CNN notes that while McCarthy could theoretically remove Cheney and Kinzinger from their other committees, Pelosi could then simply reappoint them since, as speaker, she controls committee membership.
"It would speak volumes if he took away their committee assignments for upholding their oath to protecting our democracy," Kinzinger spokeswoman Maura Gillespie said.