Reed voices support for Jan. 6 commission
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, unlike many of his Republican colleagues in Congress, said he supports the formation of an independent commission into the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Reed, R-Corning, released a statement Wednesday, stating: “We as Americans should be united to ensure what happened on January 6th never occurs again. Therefore, I support this inquiry to make sure history is clear — violence will never settle our differences in America, and democracy at our ballot box will and must persevere.”
Hours after the Capitol was stormed, Reed gave a fiery speech to members of Congress and denouncing the violence that left four people dead.
“I love this institution. I love the United States Congress and I love the United States of America,” Reed said. “And what I saw today was mob rule that spat upon the blood of my father that is in the soil of Europe and in the soil of Korea and who gave us, through that blood, this sacred Constitution and this sacred ability to lead this world as a power that says: We settle our differences not with mob rule. We settle our differences through elections.”
However, top Republicans in Congress have been working to stop the formation of the commission, aligning themselves with former President Donald Trump ahead of a Wednesday House vote on the proposal.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday morning that he will oppose the legislation to create the panel, joining House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who announced Tuesday that he won’t support it. Both men claimed the bill was partisan, even though membership of the proposed commission would be evenly split between the parties.
McConnell’s announcement — which came just one day after he said he was “open” to the bill — is a blow to Democrats who say an independent, bipartisan investigation of the violent siege is crucial to prevent it from happening again. While the legislation is expected to pass the House, it will be harder for Democrats to win the 10 Republican votes they need in the Senate without McConnell’s backing.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., vowed to force a vote on the bill once the House passes it. He charged that Republicans are “caving” to Trump, who encouraged his supporters to head to Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to stop the counting of the electoral votes and overturn his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
Schumer said that Republicans are trying to “sabotage the commission” and are “drunk” off Trump’s baseless claim that the election was stolen from him. That false assertion, repeated by the mob as the rioters broke into the Capitol, has been rebuked by numerous courts, bipartisan election officials across the country and Trump’s own attorney general.
Trump released a statement Tuesday night urging Republicans to oppose the commission. He called it a “Democrat trap.”
McConnell’s and McCarthy’s opposition comes as some in the GOP are increasingly downplaying the violence of Jan. 6, when rioters brutally beat police, broke in through windows and doors and hunted for lawmakers. Four of the rioters died, including a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to break into the House chamber. A Capitol Police officer collapsed and died after engaging with the protesters, and two officers took their own lives in the days after.