CONGRESS

Pelosi rejects Republican nominees for insurrection committee

The fate of the special committee investigating the 6 Janaury attack on Capitol Hill is now uncertain as GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdraws his selections.

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Pelosi rejects Republican nominees from insurrection committee
FREDERIC J. BROWN AFP

On Wednesday Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced that she would not accept the nominations of two Republican lawmakers to sit on the special committee investigating the 6 January Capitol Hill riots.

In a statement, Pelosi accepted that her decision to do so was “unprecedented” but maintained that the move was vital to protect the integrity of the committee. Both Rep. Jim Banks of Arizona and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio have made comments publically discrediting the committee but were, nevertheless, put forward by Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy as two of the GOP’s nominees.

Pelosi rejects two of the five GOP nominees

In announcing her decision, Pelosi explained that she had to protect “the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members,” adding “I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee.”

The committee was supposed to include five Republican members, all selected by McCarthy, to join the eight chosen by Pelosi. Aside from the two vetoed picks, Pelosi said she would be willing to accept the other selections: Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas.

However after speaking to McCarthy on Wednesday morning, Pelosi announced that he had refused to recommend two alternative picks and was instead pulling all five of his nominees from the panel.

However this does not mean that the panel will now be entirely filled with Democrats, with GOP Rep. Liz Cheney still set to appear on the the committee. Cheney was dropped from her role in Republican leadership earlier this year for her determined criticism of Trump but was later selected by Pelosi for the 13-member committee.

Republicans attempt to undermine insurrection investigation

The reaction to the 6 January insurrection has been increasingly partisan with any consensus evaporating in recent months. On 19 May the House voted in favour of a bill which would have instituted a 9/11-style bipartisan commission into the events which took place in January. When put to a vote 35 Republican members voted with the Democrats.

However after that attempt failed to gain approval in the Senate the number of Republicans willing to support an investigation into the insurrection has dwindled. The nominations of Banks and Jordan came despite the fact that neither of them voted in favour of the initial commission and both have repeatedly come to the defence of Trump for his role in the violence.