When it was announced last week that Rep. John Katko (R-NY) had negotiated a deal for a Jan 6th Commission I was not so much skeptical as wondering what it was I was missing. Striking a deal usually means you speak for the people who are agreeing to the deal. I saw no evidence this was the case with Katko. It just seemed to me that one Representative had come up with a deal with one other member of Congress, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). The fact that Katko was one of only ten members of the House to vote for the President’s impeachment over Jan 6th would, it would seem to me, instantly discredit any deal he struck with most Republicans.
Admittedly, the two are the chair and ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee. So it’s relevant jurisdiction. But committee leaders don’t create commissions. That’s something done by congressional leaders and full caucuses. When Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) responded with a skeptical wait-and-see approach, it seemed to me that this was less “agreement” than “proposal”, and maybe not a very promising one at that, inasmuch as it was presented to me as largely adopting the Democrats’ demands.
This morning Politico Playbook sheds new light on the situation which manages to make it both more interesting and more clownish all at once.