Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer accused Republicans on Thursday of shifting “the goalposts” on the congressional commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“In the aftermath of the Capitol attack, the Republican leader, Senator [Mitch] McConnell, said we needed a serious and thorough review of the attack,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat. “But very quickly, the goalposts started to move … Republicans started complaining that Democratic proposals for establishing a commission were too partisan.”
Mr. Schumer added that opposition to the commission was mounting even though Democrats “accepted all the changes requested by House Republicans.”
“The real reason, it seems, Republican leaders are suddenly opposed to this bipartisan commission is they don’t want to talk about the ‘big lie’ at all,” said the Democratic leader. “They don’t even want to investigate how former President Donald Trump instigated an attack on our democracy because he was angry about losing the 2020 election.”
The remarks come one day after the House passed legislation that would create an independent commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack. The bill creates a 10-member bipartisan commission, similar to that utilized after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with subpoena power.
Democrats overwhelmingly backed the measure, while Republicans were divided. Overall, 35 GOP lawmakers voted with 217 Democrats to approve the commission.
In the lead-up to the vote, Mr. Trump and top congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, voiced opposition.
Mr. McCarthy, who was whipping votes against the bill, called it a “Democratic trap,” arguing that the commission would hinder ongoing law enforcement efforts to prosecute the rioters.
“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort … I cannot support this legislation,” said Mr. McCarthy.
House Republicans also opposed the legislation because of its “shortsighted scope,” claiming the commission should be allowed to investigate all instances of political violence.
Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, echoed those sentiments in announcing his opposition Wednesday.
“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January the 6th,” said Mr. McConnell.
The legislation is unlikely to gain traction in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between both parties.
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