The reason for the delay in setting up the committee is unclear. Some sources said it was the back-and-forth over the panel’s Democratic-Republican relationship, while others speculated Pelosi was waiting to see Schiff as the successor to Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s candidate as secretary for health and human services, tapped was appointed California attorney general.
In the past, the panel has attracted lawmakers who want to do serious intelligence work. Committee members study the country’s best-kept secrets and meet most often in safe, secret environments.
The new candidates aren’t among the most polarizing or divisive in Congress – and could actually help the panel heal in the post-Trump era. These include Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent who called for Trump to be censored after the January 6 riot; Crow, a former US Army ranger serving a swing district; and Cooper, a longtime member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition.
However, Democrats took note that a majority of Republican-appointed people, including new members, voted against the confirmation of some 2020 election results, even after a violent crowd of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Schiff recently admitted in a CBS podcast interview that emotions are still rough after the January 6 attack.
“I would like to return to comity to some extent – I know it will take time,” he said. “Among other things, there is lingering anger within the Democratic caucus that, even after the failed insurrection, so many of our Republican colleagues were back in the House of Representatives trying to reverse the election results and spread the same lies that led to this attack on the Capitol. The most of the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee belong to this group, but the work of the committee still needs to be done. “