The chairman of the Democratic caucus promised on Tuesday that Democrats in the House will take part in all of the special committee investigations that are being set up by Republican leaders.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) told reporters in the Capitol, “It is our intention to seat individuals on every select committee, every subcommittee that the leadership on the majority side promotes.”
That action would be a change from the Republicans’ approach in the previous Congress, when GOP leaders boycotted the select committee established to look into the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This boycott was one that some Republicans later regretted because it left former President Trump without a line of defense during the protracted investigation.
Democrats won’t make the same mistake this cycle, according to Aguilar, who also predicted that Republicans would soon set up a number of special committees to look into the Biden administration and other aspects of federal law, including what they would call the “weaponization” of the government to unfairly target Trump and other conservatives.
In our caucus, we refer to that group as the “tinfoil hat committee,” Aguilar added.
Republicans intend to establish a select committee to examine American policy toward China in addition to the weaponization select subcommittee, which will become a distinct division of the Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday in the afternoon, floor votes are expected for both committees.
Additionally, GOP leaders have promised to look into COVID-19’s genesis. Additionally, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has pledged to open an inquiry into the Jan. 6 investigation, though it is yet unclear what would be covered in that inquiry.
In comparison to the minority, the parties have viewed select committees extremely differently.
McCarthy removed Republicans from the Jan. 6 select committee in 2021 after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), at the time, had withdrawn two of his five picks.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who advised Trump on initiatives to thwart the results of the 2020 election before to the rampage on January 6, was deemed a material witness to the incident and should not be in charge of directing the probe, according to Pelosi. Pelosi said that Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind. ), the second Republican McCarthy selected, disqualified himself by promising to look into the role played by the Biden administration on Jan. 6 — even though Trump was still in office at the time.
The only two Republicans on the panel were then-Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney, who were chosen by Pelosi (Wyo.).
With the start of the select committee’s public hearings, McCarthy’s boycott came under heavy scrutiny, leading even Trump to doubt the wisdom of leaving him vulnerable on the panel.
At the time, Trump observed, “Unfortunately, a poor choice was made. “Not having representation on this committee was a poor choice. That was a very, very stupid move.
After Republicans established a select committee to look into the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), then the House minority leader, was presented with a similar choice in 2014. She elected to serve on the panel despite some Democratic demands to abstain for fear of endorsing it, choosing the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to head the defense of the committee’s intended target: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This time, Democrats, according to Aguilar, will take Pelosi’s lead.
It’s in our best interest to ensure that we are expressing the views of the caucus and the American people and that Republicans do not have a chance to create and contribute to these conspiracy theories behind closed doors, according to Aguilar.
He refrained from identifying the Democratic members of the weaponization panel or any other body.
Members can express their interests by raising their hands, he explained, and letting leadership know.
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