U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, holds her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 22, 2021.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
The House plans to vote on a bipartisan bill on Wednesday to form an independent commission to investigate the January 6th uprising in the US Capitol while GOP leaders lobby the house against its passage.
The plan called for a panel to investigate the attack on lawmakers by a crowd of Trump supporters that killed five people, including a Capitol police officer. Democratic and Republican leaders would each appoint five people to the 10-person commission, which would issue a report upon completion of its investigation. The panel would have the power to summon.
The Democratic House is expected to pass the measure with GOP support as lawmakers seek more information on what led to the violent attempt to disrupt the transfer of power to President Joe Biden. Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, R-Calif., Has opposed the plan and his leadership team has formally called on Republicans to vote against it.
The bill will have a harder time getting through the Senate. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., plans to vote on it, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Announced his opposition on Wednesday. Democrats would only need 10 GOP votes to approve the Senate move, but McConnell’s stance is a blow to his prospects.
“It’s not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation another commission could actually build on the existing efforts of law enforcement and Congress,” McConnell said. “The facts have come out and they will come out.”
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Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, Schumer said the Chamber’s Republican leaders “are giving in to Donald Trump and proving that the Republican Party is still drunk on the big lie.”
A crowd of former President Donald Trump’s supporters, fueled by his unsubstantiated claims that widespread fraud drove Biden’s 2020 election victory, overran the Capitol while lawmakers officially counted the president’s victory. The rioters came within moments of reaching members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence – who rejected Trump’s pressure to use his ceremonial role in the process to reverse the election result and chants of “Hang Mike Pence!”
House Democrats, along with 10 Republicans, indicted Trump for instigating a riot in his final days in office. The Senate acquitted the former president after he left the White House. All 50 members of the Democratic caucus and seven Republicans voted to condemn him.
Trump supporters near the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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Republican criticism of the commission agreement comes from the fact that much of the party is trying to downplay attempts to disrupt the transfer of power or to compare it with other political violence or property damage. House Republicans in particular have set themselves the goal of curbing criticism of Trump – their party’s most popular figure – as they seek to regain control of the House in next year’s midterm elections.
In his statement announcing his rejection of the commission agreement on Tuesday, McCarthy suggested that the panel should have a broader scope. He also said he feared this could redouble the investigative efforts of the congressional committees and the Justice Department.
“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 McCarthy.
House of Representatives Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks on the day the House of Representatives is expected to vote on laws to provide $ 1.9 trillion new coronavirus relief at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on February 26, 2021.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
Commenting on NBC News Tuesday, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Criticized what she called “cowardice on the part of some Republicans” for not “trying to find the truth.”
The top House Democrat called the commission – put together by Reps Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., And John Katko, RN.Y. – important to understanding the attack on the Capitol.
“The American people expect and deserve the truth about what happened on January 6th in a way that strengthens our democracy and ensures that January 6th never happens again,” she said in a separate statement on Tuesday.
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