Republicans in the United States Senate have increasingly begun expressing their opposition to Democrats’ proposals for a commission that would investigate the protests that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, according to CNN.
The House of Representatives is set to vote today on a bill, written by Democratic lawmakers, which would establish such a commission. Although the commission itself would be evenly split between Democratic and Republican members, Republicans have pointed to other issues with the proposal.
Republicans have noted that the bill would allow for the commission’s chair, who would be a Democrat, to hire commission staff “in consultation” with the Republican vice-chair. Democrats have repeatedly attempted to compare such a commission to the commission that was quickly established in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but it was pointed out that such provisions would ultimately make this commission more partisan than the 9/11 investigation.
“In the 9/11 commission,” an unnamed Republican source said, “all the staff was picked together. They wouldn’t pick one unless both signed off on it, and this is not the way this is being done.”
Republican leadership, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have argued that if the commission were to be created, it should have an equal focus on both the January 6th protest and more widespread acts of political violence that occurred over the course of 2020, mostly carried out by far-left domestic terrorist organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
The incident on January 6th was a mostly peaceful protest, where hundreds of thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrated against the widespread voter fraud that took place in the 2020 election, which may have been enough to swing the results of the election away from Trump and in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. They entered the Capitol after several Capitol Police officers were seen on-camera allowing them into the building, and they remained peaceful while inside. The only death that occurred as a result of the protest was the murder of Trump supporter and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the throat by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer even though she was unarmed.
By contrast, the race riots and other acts of violence in the summer of 2020, in response to the fentanyl overdose death of George Floyd, a black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis, led to the destruction of many cities across the country. Hundreds of small businesses were burned down, dozens of statues and historic monuments were vandalized or destroyed, roughly two dozen Americans were murdered by rioters, and the riots ultimately caused over $2 billion in damage.