WASHINGTON — Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries on Monday named Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell to continue serving on the House Intelligence Committee, igniting a long-anticipated fight with Chairman Kevin McCarthy, who has vowed to stop the two from holding their seats on the powerful panel.

The move means the relationship between Jeffries, a New Yorker and new minority leader, and McCarthy, a Californian and new Republican speaker, is off to a rocky start.

Members of the Intelligence panel are selected differently than other congressional committees because it is a «selected» committee. As speaker, McCarthy has the authority to choose a chair and the Republican members of the panel. Jeffries, as minority leader, can nominate Democrats to the panel, but McCarthy has the power to reject them.

In numerous comments to the press, McCarthy has vowed to do just that in retribution for the actions of his predecessor, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats in the last Congress.

“It is my understanding that you intend to break with the House’s long tradition of deference to the recommendations of the minority party Intelligence Committee and deny seats to Ranking Member Schiff and Representative Swalwell,” Jeffries wrote in a letter to McCarthy, officially nominating the two Democrats.

«The denial of seats to duly elected members of the House Democratic Caucus goes against the serious and sober mission of the Intelligence Committee.»

Punchbowl News was the first to report on Jeffries’s letter.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.