Politics House to vote on January 6 commission amid growing GOP opposition
Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans expected to vote on removing her from leadership
The vote is the result of weeks of drama among House Republicans, some who see Rep. Liz Cheney's criticism of Donald Trump as a distraction.Cheney, the third most-powerful House Republican, has angered some in the party for her repeated criticism of Trump and his claim the 2020 election was stolen from him. A vote behind closed doors and by secret ballot is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Washington — The House will vote on legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, amid growing opposition from Republicans who object to the proposed structure and scope of the panel. The bill, which was negotiated in part by a GOP congressman, is expected to pass with support from the narrow Democratic majority and some more moderate Republicans.
Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson and Republican Congressman John Katko, respectively the chair and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee,on legislation to create a bipartisan panel to investigate the assault by a violent mob of Trump supporters. The bill made two significant concessions to Republicans, as the panel would be evenly divided between members appointed by Democrats and Republicans and give the GOP-appointed commissioners veto power over any subpoena.
Cheney ousted from leadership post. The other 9 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have also faced a backlash.
House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Wednesday from her leadership post as conference chair after she repeatedly called out former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen. © Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois The move sends a high-profile message about the Republican Party's priorities, its ongoing loyalty to the former President and the limited extent to which it is willing to tolerate dissent even after Trump's election lies incited a deadly attack on the US Capitol.
But it would also be narrowly focused on January 6, and some Republicans have argued the panel should also examine violence that occurred last summer related to protests against racism and police brutality.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday, and Minority Whip Steve Scalise sent a memo urging Republican members to vote against it, arguing that the scope of the bill was too narrow and had the potential to interfere with other ongoing investigations.
However, the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucuslate Tuesday, indicating that some Republicans will be willing to break with GOP leadership to support the legislation. The group requires three-quarters of its 58 members — 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans — to endorse a bill, meaning that at least 15 Republicans from the group are likely to support it.
Pelosi says GOP leaders 'afraid of truth' for opposing Jan. 6 commission vote
The House on Wednesday was set to pass a Jan. 6 Capitol assault commission bill over the opposition of Republican leaders. Ahead of the vote, House Democratic leaders argued that they had made several concessions to Republicans to reach a compromise, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying GOP leaders have raised last-minute objections because they're "afraid of the truth.
Ten House Republicans, including Katko, voted to impeach former President Donald Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection in January, and most of these members are expected to support the legislation creating a commission.
The mob of Trump supporters which attacked the Capitol sought to overturn the results of the presidential election. The siege resulted in five deaths and hundreds of injuries, as well as significant physical damage to the building itself.
More than 100 House Republicans, including McCarthy, voted against certifying the results of the election in several states just hours after the riot on January 6. Mr. Trump remains popular among Republican voters, and McCarthy is focused on retaking the House in the 2022 midterm elections. Creating a commission could anger the former president and his supporters, a political risk ahead of a critical election.
Republicans choose power over truth as hopes for bipartisan January 6 commission dim
The growing Republican blockade against the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the US Capitol insurrection on January 6 has crystallized the party's fixation with the 2022 midterm elections. © Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Minority Leader, boards an elevator at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Amid debate over the scope of a proposed January 6 Commission within the Republican Party, today Minority Leader McConnell announced his opposition to the commission.
Mr. Trump announced his opposition to the commission in a statement on Tuesday evening, calling it a "Democrat trap."
"Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter, and stop being used by the Radical Left. Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!" Mr. Trump said, referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell left the door open to supporting the legislation, saying that his caucus is "willing to listen to the arguments" about whether a commission is needed.
"I'm not saying that we have decided that this cannot go forward," McConnell said. He said that he was specifically concerned about partisan "balance" at the staff level.
If McConnell does not end up supporting the bill, it could be a death knell for bipartisan efforts to create a commission. Bills require 60 votes to advance in the Senate, which is evenly divided. Unless 10 Republicans agree to support the creation of a commission, the legislation would die in the upper chamber.
Regardless of whether the bill gets sufficient Republican support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged that he would bring it to the Senate floor for a vote.
How a once-bipartisan commission to investigate a Capitol Riot fell apart
It was the investigation that never was. © Jon Cherry/Getty Images A large group of pro-Trump protesters stand on the East steps of the Capitol Building after storming its grounds on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. After months of talk, the independent commission to investigate the events surrounding January 6 is now on life support, likely to fail in the US Senate as soon as next week when Republicans are expected to filibuster the legislation.
"We'll see what the House vote is like. But I want to be clear, I will put the January 6 commission legislation on the floor of the Senate for a vote. Period," Schumer said Tuesday.
Many House Republicans havein recent days. GOP Congressman Andrew Clyde said during a contentious hearing last week that the footage showing rioters infiltrating Capitol property and threatening lawmakers and members of the media resembled "a normal tourist visit." Clyde was one of the House lawmakers photographed barricading the door of the House chamber to block rioters from entering the room on January 6, belying his comments that the attack was similar to an ordinary visit by tourists.
House Republicans also voted to oust Congresswoman Liz Cheney fromlast week because of her frequent criticism of the former president and her refusal to downplay the attack on January 6. She was , a staunch supporter of the former president. Cheney has been a vocal advocate of creating a commission, and suggested that McCarthy should be called as a witness because of a phone call he had with Mr. Trump on January 6 while the riot was ongoing.
Details of the phone call emerged in February during the president's second impeachment trial, when GOP Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler described the conversation in a statement. Herrera Beutlerthat McCarthy told her that he had asked the president to publicly and forcefully tell the rioters to stop, but "the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol."
Fox News Host Confronts Roy Blunt Over Opposition to Jan. 6 Commission: 'Country Above Party?'
Although GOP leaders have opposed the commission, 35 House Republicans voted with Democrats to establish the commission last week.Former President Donald Trump's supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 after he and his allies repeatedly lied about the 2020 election results, claiming that President Joe Biden only won through widespread voter fraud. Ahead of the attack, the former Republican president told his supporters to "fight like hell" and "march" to the Capitol.
"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,'" wrote Herrera Beutler, who also voted to impeach Mr. Trump and is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
The bill up for a vote Wednesday would create a commission similar to the panel created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to study the "facts and causes" of the attack "as well as the influencing factors that may have provoked the attack on our democracy," according to aon the legislation.
The commissioners would be required to have "significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence, and cybersecurity," and could not be current government employees or officers. Like the 9/11 commission, the panel would have the authority to issue subpoenas, but only upon the agreement of the chair and vice chair or a majority vote by all the commissioners.
The commission would be required to submit a report of its findings, "along with recommendations to prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions," by December 31.
EU takes on AstraZeneca in court over vaccine deliveries .
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union took on vaccine producer AstraZeneca in a Brussels court on Wednesday with the urgent demand that the company needs to make an immediate delivery of COVID-19 shots the bloc insists were already due. AstraZeneca’s contract signed with the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, on behalf of member states foresaw an initial 300 million doses for distribution among all 27 countries, with an option for a further 100 million. The doses were expected to be delivered throughout 2021. But only 30 million were sent during the first quarter.