Won't support bipartisan deal for 9/11-style commission to probe January 6 Capitol riot: Kevin McCarthy

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (File Image)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (File Image)

Washington [US] May 19 (ANI): The US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said he will not support bipartisan legislation for the 9/11-style commission to probe the January 6 Capitol riot as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has "refused to negotiate in good faith" on the parameters of the commission and Democrats' "renewed focus" does not include the "political violence" in American cities.

McCarthy sided with Republicans who have tried in recent days to downplay and move on from efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

On January 6, a group of supporters of Trump entered the Capitol to protest lawmakers accepting electoral college votes from US states that Trump has claimed were illegal and robbed him of election victory. Congress' work to verify President Biden's victory was interrupted for several hours during the incident.

"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 a statement released Tuesday morning (local time), reported by The Hill.

This statement comes after the top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement last week on legislation to create the commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack that resulted in the deaths of several people, including a Capitol Police officer, as reported by the Hill.

McCarthy said he could not support the legislation because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "refused to negotiate in good faith" on the parameters of the commission and because Democrats' "renewed focus" does not include the "political violence" in American cities, the 2017 shooting at Republican congressional baseball practise or the fatal attack on Capitol Police on April 2.

"The presence of this political violence in American society cannot be tolerated and it cannot be overlooked," McCarthy wrote, reported The Hill.

"I have communicated this to our Democrat colleagues for months and its omission is deeply concerning," he added.

A spokesperson for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Monday that Republicans are not being urged to vote for or against the bill. But McCarthy's opposition will likely lead to more Republicans joining him in voting against it.

Still, it's unclear how influential McCarthy's opposition will be with the broader conference. A number of GOP lawmakers said Tuesday morning that they remain undecided.

McCarthy's opposition to the agreement raises questions about the GOP leader's role in the events at the Capitol on January 6, as he had a heated phone conversation with Trump as the insurrection was unfolding, CNN reported.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the ousted GOP conference chair, said on Sunday that McCarthy should provide information to the commission if it is created. Katko on Monday said it would be up to the commission to decide whether to subpoena McCarthy, noting that both sides would have to sign off.

"I've got to see it first," said Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, who was a top target of some of the Jan. 6 rioters.

Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), the senior Republican on the House Administration Committee, sounded a similar note. (ANI)

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