WASHINGTON, DC — On the House Floor today, House Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) urged Congress to allow the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol to fully get to the bottom of what happened that day. Chairman McGovern urged passage of a measure recommending that the House of Representatives find Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the Select Committee.
Highlights from Chairman McGovern’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below and video is available here:
- M. Speaker, today, we face a fundamental choice: whether we are going to get to the truth about the violent January 6th attack, the worst assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812 and the worst domestic assault on American Democracy since the Civil War. Or, whether we are going to allow lawful subpoenas to be ignored and the investigation being conducted by the Select Committee to be obstructed to puff up the ego of the former president.
- I have to tell you, M. Speaker, I still remember January 6th like it was yesterday – I was standing right where you are now, M. Speaker. Our democracy was in peril; the lives of Members of Congress, our staffs, and all the workers here were endangered; and Capitol Police officers were beaten or worse.
- Getting to the truth of what happened or placating the ego of a former president, that shouldn’t be a tough call. In any ordinary time, it wouldn’t be. This measure would probably have passed on suspension. Because as a Member of Congress, we have fewer more important and solemn duties than what is at the heart of the measure before us: protecting our democracy and preventing future attempts to overturn the results of an election.
- This is about country, not party.
- But apparently facts and the law don’t matter to some. Apparently, Steve Bannon thinks he’s above the law. Maybe it’s because he was pardoned by the former occupant of the White House. But ultimately, in the United States of America, no one should be above the law.
- That shouldn’t be a controversial idea. But we live in an age where apparently some put fidelity to Donald Trump over fidelity to the Constitution. I find that disgusting.
- I get it. The former president is at Mar-a-Lago somewhere seething about our efforts to get to the truth about January 6th. But is he so feared, M. Speaker, that my Republican colleagues are going to keep denying what happened that day? And keep trying to sweep it under the rug as if it never even happened?
- This is our democracy we are talking about here. This is about the oath we took and the freedoms we cherish—freedoms that Americans have fought and died for. Are some on the other side really willing to throw that away to placate the whims of one man?
- This doesn’t have to be a partisan fight. Just yesterday in the Rules Committee, we debated the underlying measure at length…Chairman Thompson, a Democrat, sat side-by-side with Vice Chair Cheney, a Republican. Two people who probably have never voted for the same presidential candidate in their lives. Two people who disagree on virtually every issue…but they agreed on this - on defending the constitution and the rule of law.
- Let’s follow that example, M. Speaker. I don’t give a damn if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. And I don’t care if you like Donald Trump or not. Matters like this are about something more than petty partisanship.
- So, I urge my colleagues – let’s put our country before our party; let’s put defending our democracy before defending Donald Trump. Let’s support this rule and the underlying measure not as Democrats or Republicans, but as public servants, as Members of Congress dedicated to preserving American democracy and the rule of law.
- That is what is at stake here – and nothing less.
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