McCarthy Rejects Bipartisan Proposed Commission To Investigate Insurrection

By Jason Hall

May 18, 2021

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy referred to a bipartisan proposal for a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as "potentially counterproductive."

NBC News reports McCarthy issued a lengthy statement prior to the scheduled U.S. House vote on the measure in which he argued that multiple investigations into the insurrection already exist and instead wants the panel to investigate other instances of violence.

The bipartisan proposal was announced Friday (May 14) by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.), the top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, who reached a deal to model guidelines for the panel after the 9/11 Commission.

“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.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Tuesday morning that the vote on the proposal will move forward.

"I am very pleased that we have a bipartisan bill to come to the floor," Pelosi told NBC News, adding that it was "disappointing but not surprising that the cowardice on the part of some on the Republican side — not to want to find the truth."

McCarthy's opposition of the legislation could sway even more Republican lawmakers to oppose the proposal. Democrats can pass it on their own in the House, but would need the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate in order to defeat a filibuster, which is already a threat with several GOP leaders voicing opposition, including Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

"I think a commission likely becomes another reason not to make the decisions that in my view we should be making right now about police recruiting police training, the problems with the Capitol Police board, none of those circumstances are going to change," Blunt said. "In the likely months it would take for a commission to come back and report."

On January 6, protesters supporting former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol amid the vote to certify then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, which led to the death of five individuals and forced elected officials to evacuate the House and Senate chambers before later continuing session in the evening.

An announcement was made inside the Capitol ordering lawmakers to evacuate due to "an external security threat" as dozens of protesters forced their way inside the building, the Associated Press reports.

Both chambers were sent into recess and later resumed at around 8:00 p.m. EST to confirm the nomination of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Photo: Getty Images

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