House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced he will oppose the bipartisan bill creating a commission to study the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
McCarthy’s objections to the bill aren’t likely to derail the measure — at least in the House. The bill has gotten the support of the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), and several other GOP House members have expressed their support for the commission. Several Republican senators also support creating a commission to study the riot, although Democrats need at least 10 defectors for the bill to get past the filibuster and make it to the floor.
But McCarthy had some pointed objections to the bill.
“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” McCarthy said in a statement reported by CNN.
Indeed, several other House and Senate committees have already begun inquiries into what happened on Jan. 6th. There are the court cases for the nearly 400 defendants who allegedly stormed the Capitol. And Pelosi refuses to entertain a commission mandate that would look at all political violence, including the riots surrounding the death of George Floyd.
But Democrats are going ahead with their Jan. 6th commission anyway.
House GOP leaders have previously said they would not urge their conference to vote a certain way on the commission bill. But McCarthy’s opposition will sway a wide swath of his conference to vote no when the House votes on Wednesday.
The Republican opposition to the commission comes as several House Republicans have sought to downplay or completely write off the events of January 6. At a hearing last week, one House Republican complained that the Justice Department was charging those who participated in the insurrection and another Republican lawmaker said the deadly riot looked like normal tourists in the Capitol.
It’s hard to believe that a commission could examine the violence of Jan 6th without looking at it in the context of what happened the previous summer with the destruction of statues and riots in various cities. Democrats aren’t interested in anything that doesn’t damage Donald Trump, his supporters, and the entire Republican Party. But the fact that radical Black Lives Matter and antifa activists had American cities under siege while milquetoast Democratic mayors let them run wild in their streets bears as much examination as QAnon or Proud Boys actions on Jan. 6th.
Pelosi’s original proposal for a commission is one good reason not to trust her or the Democrats. The speaker’s first draft gave Democrats a majority on the commission and would have prevented Republicans from subpoenaing witnesses while questioning from GOP members of the commission would have been severely curtailed.
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Pelosi made this proposal in the immediate aftermath of the riot when many national Democrats were open about wanting to destroy the Republican Party. The speaker believed she could get away with forming a partisan firing squad. Now, if a commission sits at all, Republicans will have the opportunity for pushback.