Arizona’s congressional Republicans oppose creating bipartisan Jan. 6 commission

House Democrats, aided by 35 Republicans, voted 252-175 to pass a bill to create a 10-member commission./CSPAN

By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to create a bipartisan commission to review the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in a move that appears destined to stall in the Senate and laid bare an ongoing split among Republicans eager to move past that deadly day.

House Democrats, aided by 35 Republicans, voted 252-175 to pass a bill to create a 10-member commission.

But hours earlier, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced his opposition to the commission, effectively signaling the Senate can’t summon a filibuster-proof majority to pass the same proposal.  

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also opposed the commission, clearing the way for most Republicans to vote against a plan negotiated by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.

In doing so, McCarthy sided with the conservative House Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who cast the commission as a political stunt by Democrats to smear the GOP and didn’t include a broader review of the social unrest that included spasms of violence in 2020.

“It’s a partisan attempt to continue the false narrative of the left,” Biggs said in a video message he tweeted before the vote. “They’re more interested in that than any of the rioting, the political division, disorder and insurrection that’s been going on around the nation for over a year.”

Biggs was joined in voting no Wednesday by fellow Arizona Republicans Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert, all three of whom are Freedom Caucus members.

Arizona’s five House Democrats supported the measure, arguing it was necessary for history and to ensure another mob attack doesn’t happen again.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., warned against downplaying the violent attack.

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