In cowardly move, GOP Leader McCarthy tries to sink Jan. 6 commission
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. | J. Scott Applewhite / AP

WASHINGTON—As expected by anyone who has paid attention to the way Republicans have operated for many years now, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Monday that he is against what has been touted as a bi-partisan proposal to form an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection. His move will reduce Republican support for the measure in the House.

Republicans negotiated with Democrats to come up with the bill, successfully watering it down to essentially give the GOP members of the commission the ability to issue their own subpoenas and cancel things the Democrats want. Just like countless prior negotiations where the GOP waters down a Democratic proposal but then proceeds to vote against it anyway, this is what McCarthy has now made clear he will try again.

McCarthy is making the absurd demand that he wants the commission to examine a lot more than the events of Jan. 6. His idea is that the panel not probe the involvement of GOP lawmakers in the planning and execution of the insurrection, but rather that it investigate Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The outrageous implication is that peaceful demonstrations against police killings and for civil rights can be equated with a violent insurrection aimed at overthrowing the government.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee who drafted the plan have both rejected that McCarthy demand. GOP Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from party leadership because of her refusal to endorse the Big Lie, said McCarthy was displaying “cowardice” because he fears any commission that is formed would call him to testify. McCarthy was the only lawmaker to actually speak by phone with Trump while the insurrection was happening. During that conversation, he was heard insisting that the uprising was orchestrated by and being led by Trump supporters.

The GOP leader’s opposition, in addition to resulting in less Republican support in the House, dims its chances in the evenly divided Senate. McCarthy’s opposition, along with the pushing of two Big Lies—one that Trump won the election and the other that Jan. 6 was little more than a gathering of tourists—are part of the same policy of denial the GOP as a whole is pushing.


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.