Republicans eye Dr. Fauci, DHS secretary for investigations once they take control of House




  • In Business
  • 2022-11-27 23:02:00Z
  • By NY Daily News
 

Democrats are bracing for pressure as GOP lawmakers threaten investigations of the Biden administration while fighting over who will be speaker when Republicans assume control of the House in the next congressional session.

After clinching the House in this year's midterm elections, Republicans are expected to use their new subpoena powers on top Biden officials.

Those could include top White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has drawn GOP ire for record-high migrant-crossing numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Has he been derelict in his responsibilities? I think so," Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said of Mayorkas on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "I have a wide-open border in my home state. We have all these people coming in. We don't know who they are."

McCaul said Republicans need to "build a case" against the Homeland Security secretary.

"You need the facts, evidence before you indict," the congressman said.

"They are complicit with the biggest human trafficking event of our lifetime," he said of the Biden administration. "And I think the American people deserve some accountability."

Last week, Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., joined House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in calling on Mayorkas to step down.

"Either resign or we're going to start investigations and see if it leads to impeachment," she said Friday on Fox News' "Your World."

Michael Chertoff, who served as Homeland Security secretary under former President George W. Bush, accused fellow Republicans of setting up "a political stunt."

"It would be basically putting form over substance to go through a big performance on impeachment that's never going anywhere, rather than actually working with the administration to solve the problem," he said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Another possible target for the House GOP is Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert.

He is stepping down as chief White House medical adviser next month, but Republican lawmakers are expected to question him in connection with a probe into COVID-19's origins.

Fauci - who drew right-wing wrath for his role in crafting the government's response to COVID-19 - has promised to comply with any such investigation.

Fauci said Sunday he has "a completely open mind" about the controversial theory that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab.

"The evidence strongly points to this being a natural occurrence of a jumping of a virus from a bat to an animal species to human," he told NBC's "Meet the Press." "Having said that, we still all have to keep an open mind as to what the origin is."

As Republicans make plans for the next congressional session, McCarthy has struggled to lock in enough votes to become speaker. The far-right swath of the GOP has voiced reservations about putting him in charge.

"There's been instances in the past that certain Republicans' voices weren't heard in the conference," Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I think a lot of these members are frustrated because of things that Paul Ryan did, or things that John Boehner did," he continued, referring to previous Republican speakers of the House. "Kevin McCarthy's never had a chance to be speaker."

A top Democratic lawmaker blasted McCarthy on Sunday.

"Kevin McCarthy has no ideology, has no core set of beliefs," Rep. Adam Schiff of California, whom McCarthy has threatened to strip of his committees, told CNN's "State of the Union."

"So he will misrepresent my record, he'll misrepresent Eric Swalwell or Ilhan Omar - whatever he needs to do to get the votes of the QAnon caucus within his conference," Schiff added, referring to Democratic representatives from California and Minnesota, respectively.

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