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House Republicans pledge to investigate COVID-19 origins, proxy voting, magnetometer

With the 118th Congress beginning Tuesday, House Republican leaders are proposing new Congressional rules.

Marking a major concession from Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican vying for the presidency, the rules package allowed only five Republicans to force a vote on removing the presidency. increase. For a Congress with at least a handful of “never Kevin” Republicans, the clause means McCarthy’s potential speakership could be short-lived.

Republicans, who have won a majority by a narrow margin over Democrats, are poised to get back on track by returning Congress to its pre-COVID order. “Congress is broken and needs change,” McCarthy said in a letter to “Dear Colleagues” Sunday night, and said he would immediately stop proxy voting in the House.

Committee chair “allows” with limited powers [non-governmental] Witnesses will appear remotely in “procedures” under the new rules.

Republican leaders will also do more with the new rules, including removing invasive magnetometers and creating a new task force on alleged “weaponization” of the DOJ and FBI.

PHOTO: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaves the floor of the Washington State Capitol on December 23, 2022.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaves the Washington State Capitol on December 23, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

But for those changes to take effect, the House must pass the Republican Majority Rules Package, the House’s first mandate after electing a speaker.

In what could be one of the most visible changes since the House ratified the rule, McCarthy said it would order the immediate removal of magnetometers from outside conference rooms. The Democratic-controlled House, in the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol raid, has installed devices at the entrance to the floor to prevent weapons from entering the House.

They quickly became a lightning rod for some Republican lawmakers who roamed around them protesting the additional security measures. Violators such as Republican lawmakers Louis Gaumert, Andrew Clyde and Jim Baird faced fines of $5,000 to $10,000.

And the rule will create new selection committees on everything from COVID-19 to the US-China rivalry to what Republicans call the “weaponization of the federal government.”

The Task Force on the Coronavirus Pandemic will fulfill a key item on many Republicans’ wish lists. ,” and the development of vaccines and corresponding federal mandates.

House Republicans directly target President Joe Biden in at least two areas with new rules. The package would allow the House to consider removing additional resources from the Internal Revenue Service that were made available to the Internal Revenue Service by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act last summer.

Additionally, the Chamber will consider preventing non-emergency withdrawals from the Strategic Oil Reserve. It’s a tool the Biden administration has used regularly amid rising gas prices in recent months.

PHOTO: House Republican Chief of Staff Kevin McCarthy sits with Minority Party leader Steve Scalis before a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the House floor in Washington, Dec. 21, 2022.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy sits with minority leader Steve Scalis before a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, Dec. 21, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Other federal employees could soon become targets of the Republican-controlled House. The proposed package of rules would allow the law to cut government employee salaries to zero, cut certain government programs, and even fire certain federal employees. The rule is noteworthy for the Republican Party, which has members defending the #FireFauci movement.

The House Ethics Committee would also face reform under the proposed rule. If the Chamber of Commerce passes the proposal, the Commission would have to establish a “process for receiving complaints directly from the public.”

This may be notable in the context of Republican Rep. George Santos, who faces allegations of fabricating much of his own background. If a Republican leader does not introduce him to the committee itself, the public can file a complaint against him, according to proposed rules.

The rule allows the Speaker of the House to allow lawmakers to read the Constitution aloud in the House until the end of February. It’s a notable clause for Republican leaders who vowed to “read every word of the Constitution aloud” on the first day of the new Congress in November.

ABC News’ Lauren Perrer contributed to this report.

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