Scalise urges House Republicans to vote against Jan. 6 commission
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) reversed course Tuesday and urged Republicans to vote against a bill establishing a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The late-stage decision to guide members on how they should vote when the bill comes up Wednesday follows a statement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) saying he would not support the legislation.
The GOP has been pushing for the commission to investigate political protests over the summer as well as a shooting at a Republican baseball practice nearly four years ago in addition to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“This Commission cannot investigate the political violence leading up to and following the attack on the 6th, including the June 2017 shooting at the Republican Congressional baseball practice, and the deadly attack on Capitol Police on April 2, 2021,” Scalise wrote to members.
“There are currently investigations ongoing by the DOJ, FBI, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, as well as an apolitical review by the Architect of the Capitol to find and remedy the security vulnerabilities.”
The GOP has been focused on expanding not just the scope of the commission but of law enforcement’s response to domestic extremism in general.
Lawmakers recently succeeded in getting the FBI to reclassify the 2017 baseball shooting as a domestic terror incident.
The legislation being rejected by Republican leadership was negotiated by House Homeland Security Committee ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.) and largely mirrors a proposal he and other top House GOP committee leaders authored in January that made no mention of probing other political violence.
“While Ranking Member Katko negotiated in earnest to improve upon previous proposals, Speaker Pelosi delayed for months and prevented the inclusion of a wider investigatory scope, proving her main concern is politics over solutions,” Scalise wrote.