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GOP senators who blocked Jan. 6 investigation demand one for Afghanistan

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said a panel investigating the U.S. Capitol attack would be too ‘partisan.’

By Josh Israel - October 05, 2021
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Rick Scott

A group of Senate Republicans wants a joint special investigation into the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. None of them supported the proposed bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, introduced a resolution on Monday to create a year-long “Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan.”

The panel would conduct a full investigation “into President Biden’s failed and tragic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines, left billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment in the hands of terrorists and took the lives of 13 brave U.S. service members.”

Scott’s proposal is co-sponsored by six other Senate Republicans: Mike Braun (IN), Kevin Cramer (ND), Steve Daines (MT), Joni Ernst (IA), Josh Hawley (MO), and Thom Tillis (NC).

The seven senators were among the 44 Senate Republicans who blocked a similar independent investigation into the January attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Six voted against the bipartisan House bill establishing an outside commission on May 28. Braun abstained from voting on the measure but vocally opposed the commission, and said its supporters would seek to “exploit this tragedy for political gain.”

Scott has also strongly opposed the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which left five people dead and hundreds injured.

“I completely oppose it,” Scott said in May. “They have already arrested people for breaking into the Capitol. What people did that day — I was here — is despicable. They need to be held accountable, the FBI is doing their job. We don’t need a commission where people will act in a partisan manner.”

Most Senate Republicans have opposed the Jan. 6 commission, viewing it as both unnecessary and politically disadvantageous.

“I do not believe the additional, extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts, or promote healing,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in May.

“A lot of our members, and I think this is true of a lot of House Republicans, want to be moving forward and not looking backward,” Minority Whip John Thune told CNN. “Anything that gets us rehashing the 2020 elections I think is a day lost on being able to draw a contrast between us and the Democrats’ very radical left-wing agenda.”

These same Senate Republicans now seem eager to rehash President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw approximately 3,000 American service members from Afghanistan in August for their own partisan purposes. Former President Donald Trump supported the withdrawal effort in February 2020.

It’s unlikely that Scott’s proposal will pass in this Congress. Still, it shows that Republicans lawmakers plan to keep stoking this issue ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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