Republicans Push to Punish Cheney, Kinzinger for Accepting Pelosi’s Invite to 6 January Committee
© Sputnik / Artur GabdrakhmanovDemonstrators protest outside US Capitol Building in Washington to contest the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by the US Congress, 6 January 2021
© Sputnik / Artur Gabdrakhmanov
Republican House Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who earlier voted to impeach Donald Trump based on accusations that he had incited the Capitol riot on 6 January, will now join the select committee investigating the insurrection.
A group of Republican lawmakers is pushing GOP leadership to punish Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for accepting Nancy Pelosi’s invitation to serve on 6 January investigating committee – at the time when the house speaker had rejected two other Republican candidates for the panel whose views apparently didn’t fit her agenda.
Kinzinger announced on Sunday that he “humbly accepted” Pelosi’s invitation to House Select Committee, a second Republican to join the group after Liz Cheney was picked as one of the eight original members of the panel. He added that the investigation required a “serious, clear-eyed non-partisan approach”.
“A lot” of Republicans have been willing to see Cheney and Kinzinger removed from their other committees by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, an anonymous GOP member told CNN. The call initially came from the House Freedom Caucus, a haven of conservative hard-liners, but has now reportedly spread far beyond its boundaries.
Pelosi Moves to Reject McCarthy’s Picks
McCarthy initially suggested five Republicans names for the committee: Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jim Banks of Indiana, Troy Nehls of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Rodney Davis of Illinois.
But Pelosi has rejected Jordan and Banks’ candidacies, telling the ABC News that the duo, who voted against certifying the 2020 election in Joe Biden’s favour, would “jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.”
She didn’t oppose the nomination of Troy Nehls though, who also didn’t support the certification of Biden’s presidency.
© AP Photo / Melina MaraRep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives to the chamber ahead of President Joe Biden speaking to a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives to the chamber ahead of President Joe Biden speaking to a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
© AP Photo / Melina Mara
To protest Pelosi’s move, McCarthy has withdrawn all five Republican recommendations. The house minority leader said that he didn’t now expect a “serious investigation” into the 6 January riot from the committee’s members, who share the same “pre-conceived narrative”.
The Freedom Caucus member Rep. Scott Perry has been pushing on Conference Chair Elise Stefanik to convene a special Republican conference meeting in a bid to "address appropriate measures" against Pelosi’s boycott of Jordan and Banks. Many Republicans now believe that Cheney and Kinzinger should be released from other committee assignments after siding with Pelosi.
According to the aforementioned GOP member, “supporting Pelosi's unprecedented move to reject McCarthy's picks was a bridge too far.”
His GOP colleague shared a similar sentiment with CNN:
"Plenty of people wondering the same things. If they [Cheney and Kinzinger] are accepting appointments from Nancy Pelosi rather than the GOP, haven't they already effectively left? Perhaps they should ask Speaker Pelosi for committee assignments?"
But even if McCarthy removes Cheney and Kinzinger, outright critics of former President Donald Trump, from their posts on other panels, the committee membership is still ultimately controlled by Nancy Pelosi.