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May 18, 2021, 7:35 p.m. EDT

House Republican leader McCarthy opposes independent, bipartisan commission investigation of U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he opposes a proposal to form an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, almost certainly eroding GOP support ahead of a vote.

McCarthy said he wanted the new panel to look beyond the violent uprising by supporters loyal to Donald Trump, who were trying to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election. He pushed to have the new commission also investigate other groups, namely the Black Lives Matter groups that protested police violence in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Katko, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee who drafted the proposal working with Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democrat who chairs that panel, rejected that approach.

See: Bipartisan agreement in the House to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol

McCarthy sought to argue that limiting a Jan. 6 probe to the events of that day and directly leading up to it and not instead examining “interrelated forms of political violence in America” represented “shortsighted scope.”

The GOP leader’s opposition all but ensures this week’s vote will have less Republican support in the House, and could dim its chances in the evenly divided Senate.

Pelosi reportedly called McCarthy’s newly announced opposition to the formation of the bipartisan commission an act of cowardice by which she was not surprised.

Both McCarthy and, particularly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were initially unstinting in characterizing the gravity of the events of Jan. 6 and Trump’s culpability in them. McConnell delivered a blistering statement to that effect after Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial. McCarthy, though, quickly walked back his criticism of Trump and traveled to Trump’s private club in Florida to mend fences.

Read on: Liz Cheney says ‘no question’ Jan. 6 riot could happen again

MarketWatch contributed.

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