Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to form an “independent 9/11-type commission” to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack on the U.S Capitol. McConnell, along with other House Republicans, are already asking Pelosi to answer questions regarding the security breakdowns since it is her responsibility.
Now, McConnell articulates that if there is any large-scale review of the Capitol, then there must be large-scale reviews for the Black Lives Matter riots last year as well.
“If Congress is going to attempt some broader analysis of toxic political violence across this country, then, in that case, we cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny,” McConnell said.
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In a letter to House Democrats, Speaker Pelosi wrote that an independent 9/11-type Commission is the next step to investigating and report on facts and causes related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
McConnell went on to suggest that he would be open to a much smaller-scale review, but that “artificial cherry-picking” by Congress does not deserve scrutiny if it does not address a broader analysis of toxic political violence across the country. “We cannot land at some artificial, politicized halfway point,” he added.
Pelosi proposed a commission that would have seven members appointed by Democrats and four appointed by Republicans. They would have subpoena power under the proposal, but the GOP-appointed members would not have a say. McConnell called it a “hard-wired partisan slant” on the Senate floor Wednesday and said that sort of undertaking is unjust and would not help our country.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy mirrored the same concerns regarding a commission that was destined to be unfair and said Speaker Pelosi was “doing it all wrong.” He added that 7-4 is not bipartisan and subpoena power is supposed to be equal 50-50, not for the minority and majority to work together. The 9/11 commission was evenly split and Pelosi’s downplay of that in her own proposal is questionable.
The 50-50 bipartisan split of the commissioners was a key feature of the 9/11 Commission. It was built to be bipartisan and helped the overall effectiveness of the investigation, as well as help give the whole country confidence in its work. Proposing a panel that would favor Democrats is just another way to silence conservative voices and equal party representation.
“Both the Democrat and Republican leaders of the 9/11 commission are speaking out against this bizarre partisan concept,” McConnell said.
This is not a good start, this is a partisan beginning.