McCarthy’s Select Committee Picks Unite 3 Disparate Congresswomen

McCarthy’s Select Committee Picks Unite 3 Disparate Congresswomen


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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There is undoubtedly very little on which these three congresswomen agree. But, when it came to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices to sit on the new House select committee which will be probing the deadly January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol Building, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, and Republican Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, found themselves in perfect harmony.

And McCarthy’s picks — particularly that of staunch Donald Trump backer, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — got an easy thumbs-down.

McCarthy, the California Republican who leads the GOP members in the House, announced his picks to sit on the select committee which Pelosi created after Senate Republicans killed the proposal for an independent, bipartisan commission to study the events of that day.

McCarthy, who along with many other Republicans have been seeking to downplay the January 6 insurrection as trivial, announced Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) as the ranking Republican for the select committee.

His other picks, aside from Jordan, included: Rep. Rodney Davis, a moderate who serves as the top Republican on the House Administration Committee; Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), a lawyer by trade who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment; and freshman Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), a former sheriff who supported Capitol Police in turning back rioters who tried to break into the House floor during the siege.

Pelosi, as is her prerogative, rejected McCarthy’s choices of Banks and Jordan.

“Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee. I have spoken with him this morning about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “I also informed him that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members.

“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi’s statement added. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”

Violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol January 6, trying to stop and overturn the legitimate and lawful certification of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. In the months since the insurrection, hundreds of Trump-backing domestic terrorists have been arrested and charged — many on felony charges and facing prison sentences.

Cheney — who was stripped of her post in House GOP leadership because she refused to back Trump’s baseless and false “Big Lie,” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and who supported Trump’s second impeachment — once again found herself unusually in support of Pelosi’s decision.

“Today, the Speaker objected to two Republican members. She accepted three others. She objected to two, one of whom may well be a material witness to events that led to that day – that led to January 6th. The other, who disqualified himself by his comments in particular over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously,” Cheney said, referring to Jordan. “He is not dealing with the facts of this investigation, but rather viewed it as a political platform.

“This investigation must go forward. The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and is disgraceful, and I am absolutely dedicated and committed to making sure that this investigation holds those accountable who did this and ensures that it never happens again. And the American people deserve that, and that is what we are going to do,” she added.

Part of the probe will focus on whether any sitting members of Congress helped abet the insurrection, and if so, how.

Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez — the outspoken progressive — appeared to side easily with her two colleagues, torching McCarthy’s leadership in the process.

“I think that McCarthy’s decision to seat Jim Jordan was intentional and he’s trying to make a mockery, like most of his other work, make a mockery of pretty much everything he touches,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

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