Kinzinger says fellow Republicans who join America First caucus should lose committees

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said GOP lawmakers who plan on joining the “America First Caucus” should be removed from their committee assignments.

A document about the America First Caucus described it as championing “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and warning that mass immigration was putting the “unique identity” of the U.S. at risk. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the paper, which was first reported by Punchbowl News, which covers Capitol Hill.

“I believe anyone that joins this caucus should have their committees stripped, and the Republican conference should expel them from conference participation,” Kinzinger tweeted Friday. “While we can’t prevent someone from calling themselves Republican, we can loudly say they don’t belong to us.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks to the media, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at the White House in Washington. (Photo: JACQUELYN MARTIN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The AP could not independently confirm the organization’s origins, but Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said he was joining and indicated that fellow conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was behind it.

The House voted to remove Greene from her committee assignments in February due to a history of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments. Kinzinger was one of 11 Republicans to vote with House Democrats to remove her.

“I believe in America First with all my heart and that means every American, of every race, creed, and color,” Greene said in a statement Saturday, slamming the media. “I have plans to drive President Trump’s America First agenda with my Congressional colleagues but we won’t let the media or anyone else push the narrative. America First policies will save this country for all of us, our children, and ultimately the world.”

The document espouses a number of the former president’s positions, including his false claims about the election. 

Greene’s spokesman, Nick Dyer, said previously: “This document pushed by Punchbowl was never approved or agreed to by Congresswoman Greene.”

Other Republicans also seemed to criticize the caucus, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — who tweeted that “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln … not nativist dog whistles” — and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranking Republican in the House, who tweeted that Republicans believe “racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil.”  

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Punchbowl also linked Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., to the group. 

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told reporters he was considering joining the caucus and said, “Yes,” when asked if Greene and Gosar were involved with it.

Contributing: Associated Press

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