GOP Leader McCarthy opposes Jan. 6 commission

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters outside the White House after a meeting with President Joe Biden, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that he won’t support a proposal to form a commission to study the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.

McCarthy said he wanted the new panel to look at the broader issue of political violence, including Black Lives Matter groups that protested police nationwide in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

He said that given the “shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation.”

McCarthy’s opposition all but ensures this week’s vote on the bipartisan bill to form the panel will have less Republican support in the House, and dims its chances in the evenly divided Senate. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell objected to the initial proposal by Pelosi, saying it should also investigate last summer’s Black Lives Matter riots.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to bring the House measure forward.

Ahead of the House vote, which could come as soon as Wednesday, the Biden administration said it supports the legislation and that the American people deserve “such a full and fair accounting to prevent future violence and strengthen the security and resilience of our democratic institutions.”

Modeled after the investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the bill would establish a 10-member commission that would have to issue a final report by Dec. 31.

Rep. John Katko, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, who drafted the legislation with the panel’s Democratic Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, defended the proposed commission at the closed-door meeting Tuesday, the person said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Rules Committee, has said he doesn’t think a commission is necessary because it wouldn’t work fast enough to make changes. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Tuesday that he thinks a commission would be “worthwhile” but that there shouldn’t be limits on the time period investigated.