The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Republican U.S. Reps. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Tom Emmer (MN-03), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) and Pete Stauber (MN-08) all voted against the commission.
All four Minnesota Democrats in Congress – Reps. Angie Craig, Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, and Dean Phillips – voted in favor of the measure.
The commission, which would have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, is aimed at investigating the insurrection, which involved a mob of people storming into the Capitol while Congress certified the election in favor of President Joe Biden
During the ordeal, numerous protesters violently attacked Capitol police officers (the family of one officer who killed himself after the insurrection is in support of the commission) and it led to the House impeaching President Donald Trump (who was ultimately not convicted in the Senate as the vote fell three short of the 60 senators required).
Phillips, represents Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, tweeted about the lack of support from some Republicans on Wednesday, saying he "never imagined a single member of Congress would vote against a bipartisan commission to investigate" the bloody incident.
Emmer in a statement, according to the Star Tribune, cited three ongoing congressional committees that are investigating the insurrection and adding another one "does nothing to help the American people move forward or bridge the current political divide in our country."
It doesn't appear the other Republican members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation have released public statements about their decision. That being said, Hagedorn and Fischbach were among the Republicans who objected to certifying Biden's win as Trump, without evidence, claimed the election was stolen. While Stauber and Emmer joined efforts to overturn the election by supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn results in several key swing states.
Emmer's objections to the bill mirror what other Republicans have said, like that this proposed commission would be counterproductive, citing the other commissions and federal agencies' investigation, Axios explains. Another reason GOPers have said they're against the legislation is because they're concerned the bill would be used to subpoena and alienate members of the party and Trump.
Among the criticisms from Democrats that have emerged in recent days is noting that while in control of Congress, Republicans approved 10 investigations into the Benghazi attack while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, which House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has previously admitted was partly motivated by hurting Clinton's election chances.
Others have tried to downplay the violence that occurred on Jan. 6 even after a deal on the scope and focus of the proposed commission had been reached, CNN said. Some Republicans pushed for the commission to also investigate protests and unrest last summer following George Floyd's murder, as well as other incidents.
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released a statement slamming Republicans for voting against the commission, saying they propped up the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen, which helped inspire the insurrection at the Capitol and now they're blocking efforts to learn the truth behind what happened.
"Republicans are ready to move on in a hypocritical bid to bury their complicity in that storming," Martin said, adding: “When Representatives Hagedorn, Emmer, Fischbach, and Stauber were given the opportunity to defend American democracy, they chose to defend Donald Trump, the Republican Party, a violent, lawless mob instead."
After the House's approval, the bill heads to the Senate, where Republican leader Mitch McConnell has voiced his opposition to the bill, calling it a "slanted and unbalanced proposal" and GOP leaders are pushing for other Republicans to vote it down.