Friday, February 3, 2023

A great argument for term limits

Rep. Quigley shocker: Democratic leader Jeffries knocks him off Intel panel, says he's just not smart enough
A spokesperson for House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said Jeffries “made clear” to Quigley that term limits prevented him from staying on the panel.
By Lynn Sweet
Feb 2, 2023, 7:35pm CST

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., needed what is called a “waiver” from the new House Democratic leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to serve on the Intelligence panel since his main appointment is to the Appropriations Committee. But Jeffries declined to reappoint him.

WASHINGTON — In a move that stunned and disappointed Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., the new House Democratic leader, declined to reappoint him to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, even with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging Jeffries to keep him on the panel.

Quigley needed what is called a “waiver” from Jeffries to serve on the Intelligence panel since his main appointment is to the Appropriations Committee. Through the last eight years he has served on this panel, Quigley has made intelligence issues a major part of his portfolio, and, because of his expertise, is often booked on news shows to analyze developments around the world.

The snub from Jeffries may have had something to do with Quigley’s support, in the early stages to succeed Pelosi, for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who was the Intel panel chair — not Jeffries.

“I’m reading people’s opinion of this, that it had something to do with my support for Adam Schiff early in the leadership challenge. And I’ll say on the record, I’d like to think that wasn’t the reason, but I can’t; I don’t make these decisions and I can’t read his mind,” Quigley told the Sun-Times.

Quigley said Pelosi went to Jeffries “to make the case for keeping me on the committee.”

The Intelligence panel has an eight-year term limit; Quigley was also asking that this be waived.

During the last eight years, Quigley has traveled to 53 countries as part of his Intel committee work.

Jeffries never signaled to Quigley that he may not appoint him to the panel; if he had, Quigley said, he may have also asked, as a backup, for another committee to serve on. Quigley will be the top Democrat on the Appropriation subcommittee handling Transportation and Housing, giant matters for Chicago.

A spokesperson for Jeffries, Christiana Stephenson, noting that Quigley was term limited, said Jeffries “made clear” to Quigley “on multiple occasions that he was highly unlikely to receive a term limit waiver, given the fact that a more senior member of the committee had also requested one, and House Democrats lost committee slots in transitioning to the minority. Rep. Quigley was offered the opportunity a week ago to serve on another select committee, but he declined.”

The new reality for the Democrats is that the Republicans control the House, which means Democrats lost seats on committees.

Examples: Appropriations went from 34 Democratic members to 27. Energy and Commerce, from 32 Democrats to 23. Financial Services, from 30 Democrats to 23. Transportation and Infrastructure, from 37 Democrats to 30.

Members compete for the four main elite committees, and Illinois Democrats continue on all of them in this new Congress: Ways and Means; Financial Services; Energy and Commerce; and Appropriations. These panels are called “exclusive” and their members are expected to only belong to one committee.

Members on exclusive panels needed a “waiver” from the Democratic leader to stay on their second panel.

Rep. Robin Kelly, on the Energy and Commerce committee, did not get a waiver to continue on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

Rep. Brad Schneider, on the Ways and Means Committee, did not get the nod to continue on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rep. Bill Foster, on the Financial Services Committee, was knocked off the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. But Rep. Sean Casten, also on Financial Services, got a waiver to stay the Science panel.

A Foster spokesman said, “The Congressman was disappointed not to receive a waiver to return to SST, especially as the only physicist in Congress and someone with a wealth of knowledge about the issues that come before that committee.”

Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is running for mayor, returns to his main committee — Transportation and Infrastructure. In January he asked for a waiver to continue on the Financial Services Committee; later in the month he dropped that request. Garcia was serving on the Financial panel as a “waived” member.

An issue in the mayoral race is a $199,854 independent expenditure made in Garcia’s June primary campaign for Congress — where he had no opponent — from Protect Our Future, a PAC bankrolled by the now indicted alleged cybercrook Samuel Bankman-Fried, with Financial Services handling some cyber industry issues.

Garcia would have had a tough time staying on the panel, since he wanted to have the Transportation panel as his primary assignment and two members from Illinois — Casten and Foster — made Financial Services their prime panels.

Rep. Lauren Underwood, on Appropriations, was knocked off Veterans Affairs.

Rep. Danny Davis, on Ways and Means, did not get the nod to continue on Oversight.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, on the Energy and Commerce panel, will remain on the Budget Committee.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi won permission from Jeffries to serve on three committees.

He is the top Democrat on the new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. He remains on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability — his main assignment — and he was reappointed to the House Intelligence panel.


Democratic freshmen Reps. Jonathan Jackson, Nikki Budzinski and Eric Sorensen were appointed to the Agriculture committee; Jackson will also serve on Foreign Affairs and Sorensen on Science. Rep. Delia Ramirez and Budzinski are on the Veterans Affairs panel. Ramirez is also on Homeland Security.

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