Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes Jan. 6 commission ahead of vote to approve it

Elise Stefanik, Kevin McCarthy
Posted at 10:11 AM, May 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, announced Tuesday morning he will oppose a bipartisan agreement to form an independent commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

His move aligns him with Republicans who have tried to downplay the attack and move on from the 2020 election.

The House of Representatives is poised this week to vote on the panel, modeled after the 9/11 Commission, which would have subpoena power to investigate the circumstances behind the events of Jan. 6.

McCarthy had wanted the commission to look beyond the violent uprising by supporters loyal to Donald Trump, and include investigations of other groups, namely Black Lives Matter.

"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 his statementTuesday morning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the top Republican and Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, who drafted the commission proposal, all rejected that broad approach.

The agreement did include much of what McCarthy had asked for, including an even number of Democrats and Republicans and sign-off from both sides on any subpoenas issued.

Attendees at a rally the morning of Jan. 6 near the White House, which former President Trump attended and spoke at, walked down to the U.S. Capitol building and violently made their way inside, attacking guards and vandalizing the inside of the building. At least five people died as a result of the attack, including a Capitol police officer.