Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House

Democratic fury over the mob attack on the Capitol and its aftermath is spilling into nearly every aspect of life in the House, squashing hopes for comity and threatening even mundane legislative tasks like the naming of a local post office.

Democrats accuse Republicans of nothing short of sabotaging the nation’s democracy with false claims that November’s election was “stolen” from former President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE.

Already angry that the refusal by some Republicans to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was endangering lives, Democrats now see the GOP as directly putting lawmaker lives on the line with dangerous rhetoric that feeds outlandish conspiracy theories.


“It's impossible for us to not look at them in a different light,” Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeMichigan Democrat says he sought treatment for PTSD after Jan. 6 riot Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Democrats see political winner in tax fight MORE (D-Mich.) said of the 139 Republicans who voted to reverse the election results.

Bad blood reached a new level Tuesday night when Rep. Sean CastenSean CastenDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Newman fundraises off of growing feud with Marjorie Taylor Greene MORE (D-Ill.) took the highly unusual step of forcing a full floor vote on an uncontroversial bill to name a Mississippi post office because it was authored by a Republican who voted to overturn the election.

It was equally evident during a Postal Service hearing on Wednesday as a furious Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyPelosi renews call for congressional commission to investigate Capitol riot Pelosi: Dropping 9/11-style Jan. 6 commission an 'option' amid opposition Lawmakers, whistleblower advocates push Biden to fill federal employment board MORE (D-Va.) lashed out at a top Trump ally, Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTop House Republicans ask Harris for meeting on border The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax Waters: Fauci 'was being bullied' by Jordan during hearing MORE (R-Ohio), who had accused Democrats of attacking Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyTammy Duckworth pressures postal service board on firing DeJoy House Democrats introduce 'DeJoy Act' to block postal service changes Let's end the Postal Service political theater and create needed reforms MORE last year simply to damage Trump’s reelection chances.

“It was all a charade!” Jordan said.  

“I didn’t vote to overturn an election. And I will not be lectured by people who did, about partisanship,” Connolly shot back, jabbing his finger at Jordan.

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesRace debate grips Congress Cheney: Afghanistan withdrawal a 'huge propaganda victory' for terrorists Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday lashed out at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWhite House readies for Chauvin verdict McCarthy to introduce resolution to censure Waters House GOP's McClain responds to Pelosi calling her 'that woman' MORE (R-Calif.) for giving "aid and comfort" to the insurrectionists.


McCarthy, a short time later, would reply in turn, using a rare floor speech to accuse Democrats of adopting strategies of “grievance” designed to silence “millions of constituents” represented by the minority Republicans.

Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who called former President Trump’s stand on Jan. 6 “our 1776 moment,” forced a vote Wednesday to end House business for the day; it failed but not before grumbling from members of both parties.

Many Democrats say it is untenable to work with those GOP lawmakers who voted to overturn the election results even after the deadly attack.

“It's an improbable situation because these are the people that tried to undermine our government. And they may be no less guilty than the people who attacked the Capitol,” said Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellLawmakers launch bipartisan caucus on SALT deduction Five hurdles Democrats face to pass an infrastructure bill Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority MORE (D-N.J.).

“It is going to be much harder to work across the aisle,” echoed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | White House defends 'aspirational' goal of 62,500 refugees Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' MORE (D-N.Y.), who blamed some GOP lawmakers for endangering her.

“Even the aftermath of the sixth, there were [GOP] members that were kind of deliberately advancing falsehoods about my location, and then turning around and saying, 'I'd love for us to work together sometime,’ ” she added. “This is very serious. Many members of Congress nearly died. … So, the idea that people just want to pretend that that has no impact on their ability to work is quite shocking, I think, and absurd.”

Republicans, for their part, accuse Democrats of distorting the events of Jan. 6 in order to paint the entire GOP as complicit for the actions of the mob.

Even the proposed 9/11-style commission to look into the Jan. 6 domestic terror attack has been bogged down by partisan politics. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House readies for Chauvin verdict House GOP's McClain responds to Pelosi calling her 'that woman' GOP struggles to rein in nativism MORE (D-Calif.) has been circulating draft legislation that would create an independent, bipartisan commission, where Democrats would get seven appointments and Republicans four.

Republicans have rejected that proposal, demanding an even split between the parties and subpoena power for both the majority and minority. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday called Pelosi’s plan “partisan by design,” and both he and McCarthy have pointed to remarks by the 9/11 Commission leaders — Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton — calling for an evenly split commission like theirs was.

“It seems most of this is politically driven,” McCarthy said of Pelosi’s plan, “and it seems like she’s setting up a system to fail.”

But House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon Thompson10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions Lawmakers roll out bill to protect critical infrastructure after Florida water hack MORE (D-Miss.) defended the Pelosi proposal, arguing that the 9/11 panel was formed under a divided government, but Democrats now control the House, Senate and White House.  

“It was five and five when you had split authorities in leadership,” Thompson told The Hill. For the Jan. 6 commission, “I think Democrats should pick the chair and Republicans can pick the vice chair and I don’t think in the end that would destroy a product that that commission would generate.


“To some it’s partisan, but to others it’s the process,” he added. “Our duty requires us to do that because God forbid, if we don’t, then something else can happen. The next time the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers doesn’t like what we do, they’ll just go tear up the place again.”

Casten’s effort Tuesday highlighted the acrimony. The Illinois Democrat derailed the bid by GOP Rep. Trent KellyJohn (Trent) Trent KellyGOP leader to try to force Swalwell off panel Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win MORE (Miss.) to fast-track a bill to rename a post office in his district. Kelly had met with a group of protesters on Jan. 6 and later voted to overturn the election results.

Still, an overwhelming majority of Democrats opposed Casten’s gambit, with many explaining it was simply the wrong vehicle for holding lawmakers accountable.

“We have choices in terms of how we interact and with whom we work, and who we choose to help co-lead bipartisan efforts,” Kildee said. “And I think that's more likely to be how this will be manifest.”

Rank-and-file Republicans say they just want to put Jan. 6 in the rearview mirror and move on. The events divided their party, with 10 House Republicans voting to impeach Trump and seven GOP senators voting for his conviction. While that pales in comparison to the 43 Republicans who voted to acquit, it is a historic high for an impeachment trial.

Moving on will be difficult given the bad blood and the daily reminders of what happened.

The entire Capitol complex still looks like a fortress, surrounded by a non-scalable 7-foot fence and hundreds of National Guard troops. Pelosi installed magnetometers at all entrances to the House chamber after some Republicans talked about bringing guns on the House floor.

Cristina Marcos contributed.