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House Democrats are begrudgingly accepting Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks to join the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks — a list that includes a couple of their leading antagonists.

The Democrat-led committee is set to hold its first hearing Tuesday, setting up what could be the first of many partisan brawls over the circumstances behind the violent insurrection.

The GOP leader has picked Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), chair of the Republican Study Committee, to be the party’s leader on the select panel. Banks is set to serve alongside Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee; Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, top Republican on the House Administration Committee; as well as Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas).

Three out of the five Republican appointees voted to challenge certification of former President Donald Trump’s election loss. But as much as that fact may infuriate House Democrats’ base, the lawmakers themselves appear resigned to moving ahead and have little appetite to contest McCarthy’s choices — over which Speaker Nancy Pelosi technically wields veto power.

As some Democrats see it, enough House Republicans voted against certifying the election results that McCarthy was likely to name at least one select committee member who backed Trump’s election challenge. Two-thirds of the roughly 200-member House Republican conference voted on Jan. 6 to object to President Joe Biden’s win.

“Just based on the math, so many of them voted against certifying the election, that you know, [McCarthy would] be hard-pressed” to go another route, said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), who was appointed by Pelosi to the select committee.

Even Democrats who admitted they were angry about McCarthy’s picks were prepared to accept the outcome.


Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), one of the last lawmakers to leave the House floor during the insurrection, reserved his strongest criticism for the GOP leader.

“This is McCarthy basically saying he didn’t give a shit,” McGovern said, adding that, “I’m not OK” with having members like Jordan on the committee. “But what can I do about it?”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), another Pelosi-tapped select committee member, said the panel would impose “serious parliamentary order” in an effort to tamp down disruption, adding he hoped the Republican members “take their responsibilities seriously.”

McCarthy’s five picks have various backgrounds and strengths, but all are members he can trust.

Republicans see Banks as the GOP foil to the committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.): both have a reputation for being measured, level-headed, and able to stay on message. Still, the select panel will be a test for Banks, who is assuming the leadership role of overseeing a high-profile inquiry for the first time.


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