McCarthy threatens to boycott House Jan. 6 committee after Pelosi rejects two of his GOP picks
Pelosi rejects two Republicans for Jan. 6 committee. Republicans say they will not participate unless she reverses the decision.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday rejected two Republicans picked by GOP leadership to serve on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said in response that none of his choices would participate in the inquiry unless Pelosi reversed her decision.
The speaker has final say on committee assignments, but normally defers to the minority leader’s choices to represent the other party.
Pelosi said in a statement that remarks by Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) raised concerns about their fitness for the panel, and that she rejected them out of “respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth,” and with concern about their past statements and actions.
Banks had been tapped by McCarthy to serve as the panel’s top Republican. Jordan has defended former President Trump in past Democratic-led investigations. Both men challenged the certification of President Biden’s election win.
“Denying [their] voices ... has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth,”
McCarthy said in a statement on Pelosi’s decision.
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation,” he said.
The bipartisan committee, including GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, is scheduled to start meeting Tuesday. It has enough members to make a quorum and proceed even if none of McCarthy’s picks serve.
Cheney defended Pelosi’s decision, but fellow Republicans joined McCarthy in saying the vetoes proved the panel would be partisan. Democrats said McCarthy’s picks showed he wasn’t taking the inquiry seriously.
“He refused to appoint or nominate five members who are serious about the task. Two of them were clearly selected just to be disruptive,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), who is on the committee.
Pelosi said she would accept McCarthy’s three other choices — Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas) — and asked him to recommend two more.
The committee was created to investigate the security failures in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the presidential election results.
Pelosi had tried to create an independent, nonpartisan commission, but was blocked by Senate Republicans, who said it would also need to investigate unrelated political violence.
Five people died from injuries in the attack, and two police officers died by suicide. At least 140 officers were injured, some permanently. More than 500 people have been arrested.
Committee leader Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the inquiry would go forward as scheduled. “This is about the integrity of the investigation,” he said in a statement.
Also serving are Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Cheney and Schiff.
Cheney was picked by Pelosi after criticizing Trump and losing her GOP leadership post.
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