- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2021

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday accused his Republican counterpart of using “a Trump tactic” to discredit the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

He said Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who earlier in the day objected to a bipartisan deal to create the panel, was trying to “distract from the issue at hand” by demanding the commission probe other events such as racial justice riots and the 2017 shooting of members of the Republican congressional baseball team.

“Jan. 6 was a unique and unprecedented event where U.S. citizens assaulted the Capitol to undermine democracy,” said Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

Mr. Hoyer predicted “significant” GOP support when the House votes Wednesday on creating the commission, despite Mr. McCarthy‘s objections.

He also alluded to the political risk Republican lawmakers would take in supporting the measure. “I presume Trump doesn’t want this to happen,” he said.



The storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob has become a defining issue for both parties.

Democrats call it an insurrection and blame former President Donald Trump for inciting the violence, a charge for which he was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate after leaving office.

Most Republicans defend Mr. Trump, though a faction in the GOP holds him responsible and wants the party to turn the page on the Trump era.

Mr. Hoyer criticized Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, for opposing the commission on the eve of the vote after Democrats acceded to his demands during four months of negotiations.

“I’m very disappointed that the minority leader has not taken yes for an answer,” he said.

Mr. McCarthy offered a host of reasons why the proposed deal on the commission falls short.

He said other investigations are ongoing, money already has been allocated for reviews of Capitol security, and the Justice Department has made 445 arrests and is prosecuting those cases.

“Unfortunately, the legislation being considered in the House this week is drafted in such a way that could interfere with and ultimately undermine these ongoing prosecutorial efforts — just one byproduct of a process that circumvents committee markup and is expected to come to the House floor under a closed rule,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Mr. Hoyer insisted that Democrats gave ground in negotiations, including agreeing to an equal number and Democrats and Republicans on the commission.

Mrs. Pelosi’s original proposal was for a panel made up of 11 Democrats and seven Republicans, which Mr. McCarthy rejected.

“He got that,” Mr. Hoyer said.

Democrats also agreed to give the panel’s Republicans the same subpoenas power as Democrats, which Mr. McCarthy had wanted.

“He got that,” Mr. Hoyer said.

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