McConnell Remarks on Democrats’ Proposal to Give January 6th Commission a Partisan Slant
‘The 9/11 Commission was intentionally built to be bipartisan. The 50/50 bipartisan split of the commissioners was a key feature. It both helped the effectiveness of the investigation itself and helped give the whole country confidence in its work and recommendations. This time, Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design. 7 appointments for Democrats, just 4 for Republicans.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the January 6th Commission:
“I have been outspoken and clear about the crimes that were committed here on January the 6th.
“In my discussions with Judge Garland, the President’s nominee to be Attorney General, I specifically raised the need to continue investigating and prosecuting anyone who broke the law that day.
“I am glad he’s repeatedly emphasized this would remain a priority.
“Everyone agrees that day’s events must occasion a serious and thorough review of the specific institutions and security procedures within Congress that proved so insufficient. That process is already underway, as we saw with the joint hearing conducted yesterday by two Senate committees.
“The Speaker of the Houses 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.
“The 9/11 Commission was intentionally built to be bipartisan. The 50/50 bipartisan split of the commissioners was a key feature. It both helped the effectiveness of the investigation itself and helped give the whole country confidence in its work and recommendations.
“This time, Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design. 7 appointments for Democrats, just 4 for Republicans.
“The 9/11 Commission also built consensus by requiring bipartisan support for subpoenas.
“The Speaker’s bill would vest subpoena power in one appointee chosen by Democrats.
“Both the Democrat and Republican leaders of the 9/11 Commission are speaking out against this bizarrely partisan concept.
“Lee Hamilton, the Democratic vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, says, quote, ‘that does not sound to me like a good start; it sounds like a partisan beginning.’
“Tom Kean, the Republican chairman, pointed out what should be obvious: “Unless you have equal representation… the report won’t have as much confidence from the American people.”
“Any undertaking along these lines must be fair and evenhanded.
“That shouldn’t be controversial. And it goes beyond just the makeup of the panel.
“For example, the Speaker’s proposal imagines something more than an investigation into the specific security failures that occurred at the Capitol. It sets the stage for a somewhat broader inquiry into ‘domestic violent extremism’ beyond just that day.
“But the partisan panel would get to decide which other incidents are and aren’t, quote, ‘relevant.’
“Rioting and political violence are abhorrent and unacceptable no matter what cause the mob is advancing. These are not forms of political speech.
“For almost a year now, we have seen political violence and riots become an increasingly normalized phenomenon across our national life.
“None of us should accept this.
“January the 6th was uniquely grave because the intent was to interrupt a constitutional duty of Congress.
“But if this new commission is to go beyond a targeted after-action analysis of the security failures here at the Capitol complex…
“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.
“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.
“We cannot land at some artificial, politicized halfway point.
“Don’t take it from me. Take it from the Democratic and Republican leaders of the 9/11 Commission:
“An inquiry with a hard-wired partisan slant would never be legitimate in the eyes of the American people.
“An undertaking that is uneven or unjust would not help our country.”