Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Thursday that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will take on its “deadly serious” work whether Republicans participate or not. The Republicans’ House leader, Kevin McCarthy, called the committee a “sham process” and suggested that GOP lawmakers who take part could face consequences. McCarthy said Pelosi’s rejection of two of the Republicans he had attempted to appoint was an “egregious abuse of power.”
The escalating tension between the two parties — before the investigation has even started — is emblematic of the raw partisan anger that has only worsened on Capitol Hill since former President Donald Trump’s supporters laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. With most Republicans still loyal to Trump, and many downplaying the severity of the violent attack, there is little bipartisan unity to be found.
McCarthy said Wednesday that he would withdraw the names of all five Republicans he had appointed after Pelosi rejected two of them, Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Pelosi made clear on Thursday that she won’t relent, and Democrats mulled filling the empty seats themselves.