Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, listens during the post-election press conference on the GOP conference chairman on Capitol Hill on Friday, May 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he was opposed to a bill to set up a commission to investigate the January 6th Uprising in the U.S. Capitol and cast doubt on its passage in Congress.
The chamber plans to vote this week on legislation to create a 10-member panel, appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders, that will investigate the events leading to a pro-Trump mob raiding the Capitol while lawmakers take over the Capitol Election victory confirmed by President Joe Biden. Reps Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., And John Katko, RN.Y., chairman and senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee brokered the deal.
McCarthy, who protested the counting of the election results confirmed by Arizona and Pennsylvania after rioters stormed the Capitol, criticized the process of setting up the commission as political. He claimed the panel would redouble the efforts of the congressional committees and federal agencies to investigate the insurrection, arguing that its scope should extend beyond the events of January 6.
“Given the political misdirections that have undermined this process, given the now dual and potentially counterproductive nature of these efforts, and the short-sighted scope of the speaker who does not examine the interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” said he in a statement.
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The House is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday. Democrats can do it in the house with little or no GOP support.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi responded to McCarthy’s position, saying, “I am delighted that we have a bipartisan bill that comes down and [it’s] disappointing but not surprising [there is] Cowardice on the part of some Republicans, [to] don’t want to find the truth. “
McCarthy’s opposition, however, raises questions about whether the measure could get through the Senate. It would take the support of all Democrats and at least 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster.
Some GOP senators have repeated McCarthy’s concerns about the commission. Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri who also objected to the counting of certified election results, said Monday a commission was investigating other events, including when a driver rammed into a barricade and on Good Friday the Capitol police officer, William Evans, killed.
Rioters, spurred on by former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that Biden won on widespread fraud, overran the Capitol on Jan. 6 in events that resulted in five deaths, including that of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. The mob, which included people singing “Hang Mike Pence,” came within moments of reaching the former vice president and congressmen.
The attack on lawmakers led the House to charge Trump with inciting a riot during his final days in office. The Senate acquitted him after Biden’s inauguration as many Republicans argued they could not convict a former president.
Dozens of challenges in key states failed to reveal evidence of irregularities that would have cost Trump in the 2020 election.
The Republicans of the House of Representatives have increasingly ostracized members who challenge the electoral conspiracy theories spread by the former president, who remains firmly in control of GOP voters. The caucus on Wednesday removed Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and one of ten members of her party, from her leadership position to sue Trump.
Cheney later said, “We cannot let the very dangerous lies of a former president pull us away.” She supported a commission to investigate the uprising.
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