McConnell Knocks Pelosi’s Proposal For 9/11-Style Commission
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) knocked Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-California) proposal for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, saying she is setting the panel up to be partisan.
“The Speaker of the House proposes even more investigation through a new commission. She cites the precedent of the 9/11 Commission. But her draft bill fails to track with that precedent in key ways,” McConnell said during a Senate floor speech.
How commission seats are allocated and how subpoenas are issued were two of McConnell’s issues with Pelosi’s initial recommendations.
“This time, Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design. Seven appointments for Democrats, just four Republicans,” McConnell said.
McConnell referenced remarks from Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the top Republican and Democrat on the 9/11 Commission, which was evenly split amongst both parties. Kean and Hamilton indicated that they believe the panel for the Capitol attacks needs to be equally divided.
When asked about the situation, Hamilton said that unequal distribution sounds “like a partisan beginning.” At the same time, Keane added that “the report won’t have as much confidence from the American people” if both parties don’t get the same number of seats.
McConnell also disliked how subpoenas could be issued under the draft bill because it would allow the chair, appointed by President Joe Biden, to issue subpoenas. According to a Democratic aide, most commissioners or the chair could issue subpoenas under the draft bill.
Pelosi’s letter said the commission would also dig into issues “relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.”
McConnell suggested he could support a commission that looks narrowly at security at the Capitol or digs more broadly into political violence across the country, a move that may spark pushback from Democrats because of the relation to the protests after George Floyd‘s death in Minneapolis.
“If Congress is going to attempt some broader analysis of toxic political violence across this country … then, in that case, we cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny,” McConnell said.
“We could do something narrow that looks at the Capitol, or we could potentially do something broader to analyze the full scope of the political violence problem in this country,” he added.