The vote was followed by a threat from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to strip committee assignments from Republicans who sit on bipartisan select committee.
House Republicans drew rebuke Wednesday for their near unanimous vote against the establishment of a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Why did so many Republicans vote against a committee to fully investigate the deadliest attack on our Capitol in more than a century?” asked Rep. Pramilia Jayapal (D-Wash.). “Because they’re complicit.”
The vote on H.Res. 503 was 222-190, with just two Republicans—Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—voting alongside Democrats in favor of the panel.
BREAKING: The House approves select committee to investigate the Jan 6. insurrection.
190 House Republicans voted against it. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/QYcxT8Kljm
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) June 30, 2021
A month earlier, Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have established an independent commission to probe the failed insurrection.
In a floor speech ahead of Wednesday’s vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed the importance of the investigation.
“We have a duty to the Constitution and to the American people to find the truth of January 6th and to ensure that such an assault on our democracy can never happen again,” she said. “We are going to be prayerful and patriotic and honor the concerns of the American people by seeking and finding the truth to protect our country from any future or similar assault.”
“The sheer scale of the violence of that day is shocking,” Pelosi added. “But what is just as shocking is remembering why this violence occurred: to block the certification of an election and the peaceful transfer of power that is the cornerstone of our democracy.”
According to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the need for the panel “to investigate the Jan. 6th domestic terrorist attack” is clear.
“But,” she said, “we must also be careful about any Republicans that may serve on the committee. There are indications that some of these folks were in on it, and we can’t have them be a part of the investigation.”
The resolution directs Pelosi to appoint to the panel 13 members of the House, five of whom must be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), however—who amplified former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election—has threatened to take committee assignments away from any Republican member who accepts an offer to serve on the panel, Punchbowl News first reported.
“Who gives a shit?” Kinzinger told Politico of McCarthy’s threat.
“I do think the threat of removing committees is ironic,” he added, “because you won’t go after the space lasers and white supremacist people but those who tell the truth.”
McCarthy’s threat elicited sharp criticism from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
“These kinds of threats from leadership [are] antithetical to a functioning democracy,” she tweeted Thursday morning, “and toxic for people who come to Washington to do the right thing.”
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