There has long been trouble about the committee on the Capitol attack. Now there has been another crash between Democrats and Republicans – and violently. US President Biden nevertheless relies on cooperation.
Despite a new escalation in the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, US President Joe Biden believes that Democrats and Republicans are working together. “But the well has been so poisoned within the past four years,” said Biden on Wednesday evening (local time) in Cincinnati, Ohio. “But I think it’s all starting to move. I don’t mean overnight, don’t get me wrong.” The Democratic President answered questions from citizens at a so-called town hall event on the US broadcaster CNN.
Previously, there had been a violent dispute over the committee in the House of Representatives investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Nancy Pelosi, chairwoman of the Chamber of Congress, had turned down two Republican candidates out of “respect for the integrity of the investigation” for the panel. The two are considered loyal supporters of the then US President Donald Trump.
McCarthy accuses Pelosi of “abuse of power”
Congressional Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy threatened that Republicans would boycott the committee. McCarthy accused Pelosi of a “political game” and “abuse of power”. After a heated dispute over the committee, McCarthy only nominated five candidates for the committee on Monday.
Pelosi, who had to confirm the appointment, turned down MPs Jim Banks and Jim Jordan as members of the panel. Jordan is one of the most ardent Trump supporters. After his nomination, Banks had declared that the body should not only investigate the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, but also “hundreds of violent political clashes last summer”, for example by “left-wing extremists”.
McCarthy said that the committee would not participate unless Pelosi accepted all five candidates. “No committee in Congress will work if one person chooses everyone who can attend,” he said at a press conference. The committee is to investigate the background to the attack on the Capitol. Supporters of Trump stormed the seat of the US Congress in Washington on January 6th. Five people were killed, including a police officer.
Biden speaks plain language: “Democracy has to stand up”
“I don’t care if you think I’m Satan born again. The fact is, you can’t look at the TV and say nothing happened on January 6th,” Biden said, referring to conspiracy theories. “You can’t listen to people who say it was a peaceful demonstration.” He has hope in the people in the USA. “We have to get this over with. What do you tell your grandchildren or your children about what’s going on here?” Asked Biden. The President stressed the importance of cooperation in general. “Democracy has to stand up and show that it can achieve something.”
Biden was also confident about a bipartisan infrastructure package. Senate Democrats lost an important test vote on Wednesday to move the law forward. Biden has now been in office for six months – the infrastructure package is one of his prestige projects.