McCarthy's last-ditch effort to force his picks onto Jan. 6 committee fails

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The House minority leader unsuccessfully tried to get Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) onto the select committee to investigate the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday night tried and failed to force two of his picks onto the select committee to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection.

McCarthy filed what's known as a privileged resolution to get Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) — two lawmakers Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected from the committee — back onto the panel.

A week earlier, Pelosi had refused to seat Banks and Jordan on the committee, citing "concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members." Both Banks and Jordan voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections.

After Pelosi made her decision, McCarthy pulled all five of his picks from the committee.

McCarthy wrote in his resolution on Monday, "Speaker Pelosi's refusal to seat all five Republican members directly harms the legitimacy, credibility, and integrity of the proceedings of the Select Committee."

But McCarthy's effort failed by a vote of 218-197. Two Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — voted with Democrats to prevent McCarthy's picks from being seated. Both Cheney and Kinzinger are on the select committee to investigate the insurrection, positions they were appointed to by Pelosi.

"Kevin McCarthy just forced votes on a non-binding resolution whining about the removal of two pro-Big Lie Republicans from the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack," Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted after the vote. "It was defeated with bipartisan opposition. I voted to defeat the motion."

Forbes reported that McCarthy's failed effort was an attempt to appease the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, a group that has recently demanded that House GOP leadership file a resolution to oust Pelosi from her role as speaker.

And Forbes reported that those Freedom Caucus members were not pacified by McCarthy's move.

"I don't think that it is enough," Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Forbes of McCarthy's since failed resolution to seat Jordan and Banks. "I think that there is tyranny that has been going on around here and it needs to be addressed."

McCarthy's move came on the eve of the select committee's first hearing, during which law enforcement officers who responded to the attack will detail the violence they faced from the Donald Trump-supporting mob that sought to block the peaceful transition of power.

"January 6 will never be erased from the story of America. Nor will the heroes who saved your right to vote," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted Monday night. "The preservation of their heroism starts tomorrow."

Without McCarthy's picks on the committee, Republicans will not be able to obstruct the hearing with procedural motions or engage in typical efforts to whitewash the actions of Trump and his supporters on January 6 and in the following days.

Instead, some Republican lawmakers will hold a news conference Tuesday to try to counter-program the hearing.

On Tuesday morning, the GOP was already complaining that their attempt to counter-program against the first select committee hearing was not gaining the attention they wanted.

"Why isn't the MSM covering @HouseGOP press conference on @SpeakerPelosi's authoritarian January 6th commission?" the House GOP  tweeted. "What are they afraid of?"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.