House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Republicans after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that he would not support legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, calling their cowardice “disappointing but not surprising.”
“I’m very pleased that we have a bipartisan bill to come to the floor,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday. “And [it’s] disappointing but not surprising that the cowardice on the part of some on the Republican side not to want to find the truth.”
The debate over the creation of an outside Jan. 6 commission is the latest proxy fight over former President Trump and the role he played in inciting the violent attack on the Capitol building that day, when Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence oversaw the certification of Trump’s 2020 election defeat.
Immediately following the Capitol rampage, McCarthy had said Trump bore “responsibility” for the violence, which was carried out by Trump supporters trying to block that certification process.
But the minority leader has since reversed course, visiting Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida; saying Trump did not “provoke” the riot; and last week orchestrating the expulsion of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from GOP leadership for her refusal to indulge Trump’s lies about his election defeat.
On Tuesday, McCarthy offered said he would oppose bipartisan legislation to create an outside commission, modeled on the 9/11 commission, to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.
McCarthy is hoping Republicans will flip control of the House in 2022, placing him in line to seize the Speaker’s gavel, and he’s calculating that the Republicans’ best chance of doing so is by staying in the good graces of the former president, who retains enormous popularity among the GOP base.