Pelosi, McCarthy dig in over Jan. 6 select committee

Panel has scheduled its first public hearing on Tuesday

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 22, 2021 at 4:42pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are both in steadfast disagreement about whether Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, should be allowed to serve on the Jan. 6 select committee, setting up questions about what the panel’s roster will look like at its first public hearing on Tuesday. 

McCarthy, a California Republican, said on Thursday that he has given no consideration to replacing Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and Jordan, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, with selections that would be more palatable to Pelosi

“No — all the five or nothing,” McCarthy said at his weekly press briefing, referring to Banks, whom he chose to be the ranking member, Jordan and Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Troy Nehls, R-Texas. Nehls was approved by Pelosi to serve on the committee despite, like Jordan and Banks, voting to overturn a component of the 2020 presidential election results.

McCarthy’s commitment not to deploy Davis, Armstrong and Nehls unless Jordan and Banks come along puts Pelosi in an interesting position.

The speaker, who has already selected eight of the 13 members of the committee — including Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, who was ejected from GOP leadership for pushing back against former President Donald Trump’s election lies — said the committee is getting staffed up and will be ready for its July 27 hearing next week. Ofc. Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges will testify before the committee.

“The select committee is bipartisan and it has a quorum, and it will do the job it sets out to do,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said at her own weekly press briefing on Thursday.

The speaker did leave open the possibility of naming more Republicans to the 13-slot committee. Under the framework of the panel’s resolution, Pelosi has control over all the picks, but five are chosen in consultation with McCarthy.

“We’ll see,” Pelosi said of adding more Republicans to the select panel. “I mean, there are some members who would like to be on it. But we’ll see.”

Only two Republicans voted to create the Jan. 6 committee: Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Kinzinger on Wednesday said he thinks the committee’s investigation “can be valid still.”

After McCarthy made his selections to the panel on Monday, Banks said the committee was created to “malign conservatives” and Jordan told Newsmax it was “impeachment round three.”

“The other two made statements and took actions that just made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth,” Pelosi said of Banks and Jordan.

Chris Cioffi contributed to this report.