House Republicans slammed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for assembling a partisan committee after blocking two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) five picks to serve on the committee in order to push her narrative of how the events transpired during the Capitol riots as means to cover up her role for the security lapses.
“Two questions for this entire committee should be: Why were we so ill-prepared for that day? And how can we make sure this never happens again?” McCarthy said during a House Republican leadership news conference ahead of the start of the first select committee hearing Tuesday morning. “There’s questions into the leadership within the structure of the speaker’s office, where they denied the ability to bring the National Guard here.”
“And that’s what should drive the committee. If there may be buildup before that day that you’re going to have to investigate, Speaker Pelosi worked six months trying to make sure that would never happen,” McCarthy added. “Pelosi will only take people onto the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked. That becomes a failed committee and a failed report, A sham that no one can believe.”
McCarthy also took aim at Pelosi for blocking two of his five selections to serve on the Democratic-led special committee — Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. The move prompted McCarthy to withdraw all of his appointees from the panel.
Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee and one of the members Pelosi rejected, claimed that the Speaker “cherry-picked the members to serve on this committee.”
“She’s prewritten a narrative. Only members who will stick to her talking points are allowed to serve on this committee,” Banks said.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Pelosi “canceled” both Banks and Jordan because both were prepared to ask the “tough questions” that the House Speaker “doesn’t want out there,” in seeking the truth regarding how unprepared the Capitol Police were.
“But what we’re here to talk about today is Speaker Pelosi’s constant attempt to cover up facts that she doesn’t want out there. For weeks now, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks have been raising some very tough questions, questions that need to be answered about why Speaker Pelosi didn’t make sure that Capitol Police had all the tools they needed to be prepared for that day,” Scalise said.
“Now maybe because they were raising those questions, they got canceled by this new cancel culture that we see moving throughout the country led by Speaker Pelosi and a lot of our socialist allies here in Congress, where they want to shut out voices that raise tough questions that they don’t want to be asked or answered. So as we see these kinds of actions taken by Speaker Pelosi to cover up the facts that she doesn’t want out there. It has completely debased the legitimacy of this commission because clearly, they’re not searching for the truth. They’re searching to get a narrative of that Speaker Pelosi has already written,” Scalise added.
On Monday, the GOP leader introduced a privileged House resolution condemning Pelosi for “refusing to seat all five Republican members to the Select Committee” and urging the California Democrat to approve all five original picks to serve on the special committee. The resolution also slammed the House Speaker’s actions as “unprecedented,” arguing that her refusal to seat the five GOP selections “directly harms the legitimacy, credibility, and integrity of the proceedings of the Select Committee.” However, the motion failed to pass in a near-party line vote of 218-197 with only two Republicans — Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming joining all the Democrats in voting to table the resolution.
Pelosi recently tapped Kinzinger, an outspoken critic of former President Trump, to serve on the House select committee on Sunday, making him the second GOP lawmaker to “humbly” accept the Democratic invitation to sit on the panel. The anti-Trump congressman joins Cheney — another prominent vocal Trump critic to serve on the nine-person panel. Both Cheney and Kinzinger were also two of the 10 House Republicans who voted with all Democrats in impeaching Trump for “incitement of insurrection” of the Jan.6 Capitol riot earlier this year.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) called on McCarthy to remove Kinzinger and Cheney from their House committee assignments, arguing the two anti-Trump lawmakers are “no longer a member of our team,” after agreeing to accept Pelosi’s invitation to serve.
“You can’t then invite those people into your strategy sessions as you’re executing an agenda for America,” Gaetz said on Newsmax’s “National Report” on Monday. “How can we be telling the American people don’t listen to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. They don’t represent us and then, at the same time, elevate them to significant roles within our conference?”
The move to remove both Kinzinger and Cheney from their House committee assignments has grown louder following the two GOP members accepting Pelosi’s invitation to serve with the blessing of McCarthy. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, told GOP colleagues during Tuesday’s conference meeting that he plans to introduce a resolution that would institute a rules change in expelling any GOP member if they accepted a committee assignment from Democrats. According to conference rules, the proposal from Biggs is expected to fail if it doesn’t garnish the support from Republican leadership. If a GOP leader offers the resolution and successfully passes within the caucus, both Kinzinger and Cheny would be exiled from the Congressional GOP conference.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who replaced Cheney as the No.3 Republican following the Wyoming lawmaker being ousting in May, called Pelosi an “authoritarian” and a “lame duck speaker” for putting her own “partisan politics over what’s best for the American people.”
“She’s an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house. She is a lame-duck speaker, and everyone knows it. The reason why Nancy Pelosi is refusing to seek accomplished and well-respected, hardworking Republicans like Jim Jordan and Jim Banks is because she doesn’t want the American people to know the truth or learn the facts. She doesn’t want a fair or bipartisan investigation. She wants a political one,” Stefanik said.
Stefanik noted that Pelosi was well informed back in December of 2020 regarding potential security threats to the Capitol but didn’t act on them.
“It is a fact that the US Capitol Police raised concerns, and rather than providing them with the support and resources they needed and they deserved, she prioritized her partisan political optics over their safety,” Stefanik said. “The American people deserve to know the truth. That Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on January 6,”
Pelosi’s office quickly pushed back against the charges from Republicans, issuing a statement noting that congressional leaders do not oversee the everyday decisions surrounding the U.S. Capitol security and asserted that the Speaker never denied a request to activate the National Guard.
“Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republicans’ arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation,” Pelosi’s office told The Floridian.