The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Accountability Committee has dismissed the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee, which was created to handle issues such as voting rights, criminal justice reform policies and “freedom of assembly.”
Republican House Oversight Committee disbands Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. https://t.co/IbpstyPJpp
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 1, 2023
For Republicans, the subcommittee was not necessary to combat discrimination. Disbanding the subcommittee would not stop lawmakers from addressing such issues in the future as the Oversight committee can bring up related topics for consideration anytime, they said.
“Let me be very clear: any topic that’s not mentioned in the subcommittee jurisdiction is reserved for the full committee. We can have a committee hearing in this committee on basically anything we want,” committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) stated.
Democrat lawmakers, however, disagreed and are calling for the reinstatement of the subcommittee as they argue that the removal paints a picture of a Congress that does not care about the civil rights and civil liberties of the American people.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) called the elimination of “one of the most important subcommittees” “reckless and cruel” in a statement that called for the reinstatement of the subcommittee.
According to her, the nation would be better should the Oversight committee abandon investigations of President Joe Biden related to mishandling classified documents and bring the subcommittee on civil rights and liberties back.
“The Chairman should move swiftly to reinstate the subcommittee at a time when we need it the most. Failure to do so would be an egregious abdication of oversight responsibilities,” she called.
After releasing the statement Friday, she moved further on Tuesday to introduce a bill that would reinstate the subcommittee.
The amendment failed to get anywhere significant as House Republicans quickly rejected the proposal.