Connect with us

Uncategorized

Pelosi vetoes Banks, Jordan for Jan. 6 select committee

Published

on

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stunned the GOP on Wednesday by vetoing two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices for a select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, a move all but guaranteed to spark a Republican boycott of the probe.

Pelosi rejected Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who was tapped to serve as ranking member, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), both of whom voted to challenge certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral wins earlier this year. Her decision sent shock waves through the House and is likely to galvanize House Republicans against any participation in the investigation.

“I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”

Another Republican, freshman Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), also voted not to certify Biden’s win, but Pelosi said she is “prepared to appoint” Nehls as well as Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), both of whom voted to certify the election.

McCarthy issued a scorching reply that made clear he would yank his other three picks if the speaker didn’t walk back her veto of Banks and Jordan, a move she’s highly unlikely to make.

“Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process,” McCarthy added. He later made clear in a press conference that “we will run our own investigation,” touching on the Capitol’s lack of preparedness for the riot and prevention of a future attack.

Armstrong, for one, didn’t mince words about Pelosi’s rejection of Banks and Jordan.

“It’s bullshit. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan have every right to serve on any committee Kevin appoints them to,” Armstrong said.

“Whenever Speaker Pelosi uses the word ‘unprecedented,’ it is code for her consolidation of absolute power,” Armstrong added. “She is willing to do anything and everything to maintain control over her conference for the next 18 months.”

Jordan echoed Armstrong as he walked into McCarthy’s office following the speaker’s announcement: “It is unprecedented. It has never happened before … We already know what this is: It is a partisan attack against [former] President [Donald] Trump.”

The Ohio Republican added that he has to talk to McCarthy, but is unsure whether any of the GOP members the leader chose would participate in the select panel.

Pelosi has scheduled a meeting of select committee members for midday Thursday, according to a source briefed on the planning. She had individual conversations with members of her leadership team Tuesday as she weighed what to do, as described by multiple Democrats familiar with the talks.

The senior Democrats on the select committee and two close Pelosi allies — Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) — were dead set against having Jordan and Banks on the panel. Other senior Democrats were also upset but did not feel as firmly as Thompson and Lofgren, knowing the potential fallout if they did veto McCarthy’s choices could be significant.

Another Democrat on the panel who asked for anonymity to speak candidly said that while they were worried about the potential disruptions the Republicans would cause, particularly Jordan, they were also determined to get to work and confident Democrats could leverage their quorum to keep the panel under control.

Ultimately, Pelosi deferred to Thompson and Lofgren, issuing the statement announcing her decision around lunchtime Wednesday.

Democrats had steeled themselves for the possibility no Republican appointees would take part in the committee and are still planning to proceed with their panel’s first hearing next week. They also noted that the roster is already bipartisan with the appointment of staunch Trump critic Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), and some Democrats acknowledged that Pelosi could now appoint additional members to those GOP seats.

“This is about the integrity of the investigation. Period,” Thompson said in a statement.

Indeed, a prospective GOP boycott didn’t appear to bother one House Democratic leader.

“That’s all right with me,” Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told POLITICO of Republicans’ refusal to participate.

Cheney told reporters that she agreed with Pelosi’s actions, adding that “at every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened” on Jan. 6. One of the Republicans Pelosi nixed may be a “material witness,” Cheney added, referring to Jordan.

But beyond Cheney, alarm over Pelosi’s veto extended to even GOP moderates who had called for an independent inquiry into the Capitol siege.

“It is wrong … It’s why most of us who supported the bipartisan commission opposed the select committee bill. Pelosi will have her thumb on the scales with this partisan committee, and the findings will already be baked in,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who had strongly advocated for his GOP colleagues to support a bipartisan 9/11-style commission on the insurrection.

Davis said Pelosi had brought up the idea of a bipartisan panel to him when the House had reconvened after the tumult of Jan. 6, calling it “disappointing” that she had chosen to veto Republican members.

Pelosi’s move followed a statement by Banks upon his selection by McCarthy as the lead GOP member of the Jan. 6 investigation in which the chair of the Republican Study Committee lambasted the speaker’s motives for creating the select panel on the Capitol insurrection.

“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda,” Banks said in his statement.

That comment caused outrage among Democrats over potentially naming Banks to the investigative panel, according to a senior party aide familiar with caucus deliberations.

In addition, Jordan sparked concern among allies of the speaker for his communications with former President Donald Trump to discuss Trump’s bid to challenge Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

McCarthy himself is at the center of another contentious Trump-related moment: a phone call that he had with the former president during the riot. The GOP leader had previously suggested he would be willing to testify before the panel about that conversation but dodged that question on Wednesday.

“My phone call’s out there,” McCarthy told reporters, adding that it “doesn’t get to the answer of why were we ill-prepared” for the riot.

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

Original Source: politico.com

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Uncategorized

Cheney-McCarthy war of words heats up over Jan. 6 investigation

Published

on

Liz Cheney is already taking public heat from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — and dishing it back — over her Democratic appointment to the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

The relationship between McCarthy and Cheney has steadily deteriorated throughout the year, with an apparent peak coming when the California Republican helped oust Cheney from the House GOP’s No. 3 leadership spot. But tension is spiking again now that Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger — Donald Trump’s two most vocal GOP critics in Congress — are serving on the select panel thanks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. McCarthy dubbed Cheney and Kinzinger “Pelosi Republicans” on Monday.

Cheney, as she walked into a prep session meeting with her fellow committee members shortly after McCarthy’s remark, told reporters she found it “pretty childish.”

“We’ve got serious business here. We have important work to do,” she added.

The back-and-forth comes after a series of clashes last week following Pelosi’s veto of two of McCarthy’s GOP picks to serve on the Jan. 6 investigation: Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, both of them avid Trump defenders. The move prompted McCarthy to withdraw all of his appointees to the select committee in protest, describing the investigation as a partisan effort designed to hurt Trump and the party ahead of next year’s midterms. Republicans, however, largely opposed a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission earlier this year.

Cheney was part of Pelosi’s initial wave of names tapped to serve on the panel that will examine the deadly events of Jan. 6, when Trump supporters breached the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt certification of the ex-president’s election loss, forcing lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to flee.

Following the GOP boycott, Pelosi on Sunday named Kinzinger to the Jan. 6 committee, giving Democrats two House Republican members who they say boost their panel’s bipartisan credibility.

Kinzinger, wearing a tie patterned with elephants, also called McCarthy’s comments “childish” during a break in the select panel prep session.

“He can call me whatever names he wants,” Kinzinger said, adding that the bottom line is “I’m a Republican.”

Still, McCarthy’s jab signals a remarkable shift from earlier this year. Cheney once served as his leadership partner before her frequent Trump criticisms prompted her colleagues and fellow leaders to eject the Wyoming Republican from a role that is responsible for the conference’s messaging.

These days, some of Cheney and Kinzinger’s fellow Republicans are openly speculating about their future in the House GOP conference. Asked whether the duo should face sanctions from their party for accepting Pelosi’s appointment to the inquiry, McCarthy said only that “we’ll see.”

But Kinzinger shrugged off the subtle threat on Monday: “If the conference decides” to punish him and Cheney, he said, it “says more about them than it does about us.”

Kinzinger also didn’t rule out calling his fellow Republican members to testify before the select panel, saying it was “important” to hear from them if they had relevant information. Discussions are still ongoing about the scope of Republican staff for the inquiry, he added, but he lauded former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) as a model for those hires.

No matter how actively McCarthy tries to tether Cheney and Kinzinger to Pelosi, who frequently appears in GOP attack ads, they both have strong conservative voting records to counter his attacks. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted as much, while arguing Monday that Cheney and Kinzinger are “real Republicans.”

“If anybody looks at the voting records of Mr. Kinzinger and Ms. Cheney, they will know that they haven’t voted with Speaker Pelosi except on the most bipartisan of bills,” Hoyer said. “These are people who come from conservative Republican districts who have represented Republican values. The difference is, and this is the key, they both believe in the truth. That ought not to be a partisan issue.”

Nick Niedzwiadek contributed to this report.

Article: politico.com

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Bipartisan infrastructure talks in dire state ahead of pivotal week

Published

on

The bipartisan infrastructure negotiations entered their darkest phase in more than a month on Monday, with the parties openly feuding over policy and former President Donald Trump urging Republicans to drop the effort altogether.

Democrats and the White House on Sunday night offered a proposal to Republicans proposing a deal on highway and public transit funding, as well as several other unresolved areas. That offer was intended to address all outstanding disputes — and was immediately rejected by Republicans.

The GOP sent out a list of areas where that Democratic offer broke from previous agreements among the bipartisan senators writing the bill on Monday afternoon, the latest in a running list of bleak sign for the talks ahead of another pivotal week of negotiations in the Senate.

The comprehensive offer “we received from the White House and [Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer was discouraging since it attempts to reopen numerous issues the bipartisan group had already agreed to,” said a GOP source familiar with the negotiations. “If this is going to be successful, the White House will need to show more flexibility as Republicans have done and listen to the members of the group that produced this framework.”

Two additional sources close to the talks, one in each party, confirmed the dire state of negotiations on a signature priority of President Joe Biden. Each blamed the other side for reopening debate on items once considered settled.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she is “confident” an agreement can be reached. But many struck a more dour tone in private. And Democrats said the frantic past few days was kicked off by Republicans rejecting an increase in IRS enforcement to pay for the bill.

“It takes a lot of chutzpah for Republicans to make accusations about keeping words when the biggest hole blown in the [financing] was made by them reneging on their agreement about enforcing the law on wealthy tax cheats,” said a Democrat familiar with the negotiations.

The talks seem in danger of collapse given the public acrimony and finger-pointing on Monday, after a fruitless weekend of discussions. The group of 10 senators leading the talks will huddle again on Monday evening, in an attempt to rescue the fragile negotiations.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers hoped to reach a final agreement by early this week after a vote to advance undrafted legislation failed last week. But that appears unlikely, with several issues outstanding. Among the biggest sticking points is transit, but broadband has also become a point of contention. The bill’s finances are also viewed as shaky.

A Democratic source familiar with the bipartisan discussions said that Democrats’ counteroffer included accepting the GOP proposal for highways in exchange for the Democratic proposal on transit. But Republicans dispute that characterization. A GOP source familiar with the negotiations said the choice isn’t binary and that the GOP offer on transit “was met with silence for three days.”

Funding for water infrastructure also remains unresolved, according to a Democratic source familiar with the talks, who accused Republicans of backing away from the original agreement. That source said that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had reneged on a deal and “proposed something completely unworkable.”

A spokesperson for Romney called that “laughably false” and said Schumer is seeking $15 billion more than a previous agreement.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) both raised concerns about the funding last week, with Carper suggesting he would have a hard time supporting the package unless certain funding conditions were met. The snafu illustrates the tricky challenge the group of rank-and-file senators led by Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has in navigating around committee chairs.

As bipartisan negotiators aim to finalize an agreement, Trump said that Senate Republicans “are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure bill’” and urged them to wait until they take back the Senate in 2022 to “regain a strong negotiating stance.” Trump tried unsuccessfully to cut a deal with Democrats on infrastructure, sidelining negotiations once his impeachment investigation began.

Although the bipartisan group and the White House announced an agreement last month on a bipartisan framework, translating it into legislative text is proving difficult. Schumer wants to pass the bipartisan bill and begin the process for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending package before the Senate leaves for the August recess.

Eleven Senate Republicans wrote Schumer last week to tell him they’d be ready to move forward as soon as Monday, provided the bill was mostly completed and its finances were in order. Neither condition was met as of midday, with senators convening late in the afternoon.

Source: politico.com

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Mortal Kombat 11 Surpasses 12 Million Copies Sold WorldwideGame Informer

Published

on

By

Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest entry in a renowned franchise that has spanned decades. The game features a sizable roster with (literally) bone-crushing combos, a solid single-player story mode, and a continuously burgeoning multiplayer scene. Like many of the other NetherRealm titles that have come before it, Mortal Kombat 11 has reached an impressive milestone; it’s surpassed 12 million copies sold worldwide.

According to an emailed press release, NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon expressed heartfelt words after learning about Mortal Kombat 11’s latest achievement. “When Mortal Kombat launched nearly 30 years ago, I never dreamed it would grow into the franchise it is today with more than 73 million games sold,” Boon said. “We have some of the most passionate fans in the world, and we appreciate the support they have shown us over the years.” 

It’s not particularly surprising that Mortal Kombat 11 has found this level of incredible success. After all, the franchise is one of the industry’s biggest video game dynasties – even Mortal Kombat Mobile has over 100 million installs! – that has spawned many television shows, animated movies, and live-action films, including the latest one that Brian Shea reviewed. However, additional content updates have stopped now that NetherRealm is moving to its next project. What the next chapter in the Mortal Kombat franchise will look and play like remains to be seen, but based on how beloved the IP is to millions of fans around the globe, it’ll likely be another well-earned success story for Ed Boon and co.

Andrew Reiner enjoyed his time with Mortal Kombat 11 despite some loot problems, concluding his review by stating, “Mortal Kombat 11 may have loot issues, but the combat has never been more rewarding. You can finish the entertaining story mode in one sitting, but getting the gear for the character you want could end up being more of a time-stealing tale than the one the game tells.”

Mortal Kombat 11 is available on current- and last-gen consoles as well as Switch, Stadia, and PC. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a more expanded version of the game that launched towards the end of last year; be sure to play that for the complete experience. 

What do you hope to see in Mortal Kombat 12? Or, more broadly, what do you hope to see in NetherRealm Studios’ future games?

Continue Reading

Trending