During an appearance on CNN Sunday, moderate Republican senator Susan Collins (Maine) expressed disapproval with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of the GOP picks to join the “bipartisan” panel investigating the Capitol Riot.
“I fought very hard to have an independent, bipartisan, nonpartisan outside commission to look at all of the events of that day and I’m very disappointed that it was not approved. I think it would have had far more credibility than Speaker Pelosi’s partisan committee that she has set up,” Collins commented.
When the anchor pointed out that Pelosi did appoint two Republicans, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, to serve on the committee, the Maine senator replied, “I respect both of them but I do not think it was right of the speaker to decide which Republicans should be on the committee. Normally if you have a select committee, the minority leader and the speaker get to pick the members.” Cheney and Kinzinger both voted to impeach former President Trump after January 6.
While Collins voiced her opposition to the speaker’s move, Cheney, who was recently ousted from her leadership post as GOP conference chair, recently defended it. “I agree with what the Speaker has done,” she said.
Per the House resolution that created the committee, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) was originally allowed five selections to serve on it while Pelosi was allowed eight. Pelosi denied two of McCarthy’s choices, Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, over their support of Trump and voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election.
In a statement, Pelosi said the “unprecedented nature” of the Capitol Riot demanded that she disqualify the two congressmen from joining the panel.
In protest to Pelosi’s move, McCarthy withdrew all Republican picks from participating in the select committee, vowing instead to lead his own GOP-backed inquiry into the incident.