A Florida congresswoman introduced a bill on Wednesday (1 February) that would force out Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump's political adviser, off the National Security Council.
In a controversial move, Trump issued an executive memorandum that gave Bannon a seat on the National Security Council on Monday (30 January).
Representative Stephanie Murphy's legislation would bar anyone whose "primary or predominant responsibility is political in nature" from being designated a member of the Security Council and from being allowed to regularly attend its meetings, The Hill reported.
Trump's weekend memorandum also downgraded the roles of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. The Florida lawmaker said she believes that those that occupy those positions should have a "standing invitation" to attend all principal committee meetings.
"The security of the American people should be more important than partisan politics," Murphy said in a statement. "As a former national security specialist at the Department of Defense and a current member of the House Armed Services Committee, I can tell you the last place partisan politics belongs is in national security."
In her speech on the House floor, Murphy added: "Our men and women in uniform, our intelligence and homeland security professionals, and our citizens should feel secure in their knowledge that the critical decisions made by the NSC are free from political considerations. The American people deserve a national security policy making process that inspires confidence, not cynicism."
According to The Hill, Trump's decision to give Bannon a seat on the council raised the alarm on both sides - Democrats and Republicans. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the move a "radical departure" from previous Security Councils.
The move was defended by the White House during a Monday (30 January) briefing. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted that Bannon, former head of right-wing Breitbart News, is a former naval officer.
"Steve's not going to be in every meeting; he'll come in and out when needed," Spicer said. "But I think we wanted to be upfront about it and make sure that that was stated so it wasn't a story when he did."
According to Murphy's statement, her bill has the support of 50 of her colleagues as of Wednesday afternoon (1 February).