“I want to thank the gentleman from New York and the other Republicans who are supporting this and thank them for their bipartisanship,” Ryan said, referring to the 35 GOP House members that supported the measure. He added that the rest “of our friends on the other side of the aisle, holy cow. Incoherence. No idea what you’re talking about.”
Ryan then compared the opposition to the bill, which passed 252-175 on Wednesday, to the Republican-led probe into the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead and critics largely saw as a political move against Hillary Clinton. The probe concluded in 2016, costing roughly $7 million, and did not suggest Clinton was personally responsible for or could have prevented the attack.
“Benghazi, you guys chased the former secretary of state all over the country, spent millions of dollars. We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol Police with lead pipes across the head and we can’t get bipartisanship. What else has to happen in this country?” Ryan said.
The fiery speech soon ricocheted across social media. It came after many GOP members expressed their opposition to the bill.
For instance, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., defended the rioters and opposed the bill during the House debate. She asked why a commission was not created “to stop the BLM and antifa riots,” and also argued that the commission would be used to “smear” supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“What’s going to happen with the Jan. 6 commission is the media is going to use this to smear Trump supporters and President Trump for the next few years,” said Taylor Greene, who has created numerous maelstroms since arriving in Washington.
Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., raised similar concerns in his opposition to the bill on the House floor and suggested it would not be bipartisan, although the bill calls for forming a panel of five members from each party.
“If it was an insurrection, it was the worst example of an insurrection in the history of mankind. It was a riot. It was a mob. And it was significant. And it was troublesome. But this is not bipartisanship. And I fear that the gentleman from New York may find that he has been played,” he said, referring to Rep. John Katko, the New York Republican that cosponsored the legislation.
Ryan, who has launched a bid for Ohio’s open Senate seat, called the opposition a “slap in the face to every rank and file cop in the United States.”
“If we’re going to take on China, if we’re going to rebuild the country, if we’re going to reverse climate change, we need two political parties in this country that are both living in reality and you ain’t one of them,” the 10-term congressman said.