Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
May 19, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined CNN Newsroom this afternoon to discuss legislation to form an independent commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol and the situation in Israel and Gaza. Below are excerpts from his interview and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the interview.
On Republican Opposition to the 1/6 Commission

"I think it's stunning. I think it's unfortunate. I think it is totally inconsistent with [McConnell’s] premise that people need to be held responsible, in fact, right after the impeachment vote implying that the President himself ought to be held accountable. I think this is simply stonewalling. I think it's [former President] Trump controlling the fact that he does not want a Commission. He doesn't want the truth to come out. This is a see no evil, hear no evil response. And it's a sad day for America. This was a unique, tragic event in the history of our country. Unique in that we've never had before anything like this.

We ought to be looking at this. If [former President] George Bush said we're not going to have a 9/11 Commission, he would have been roundly criticized. [Senate Minority Leader] McConnell and [House Minority Leader] McCarthy should be roundly criticized for not taking yes for an answer. They asked for an equally divided Commission, we gave it to them. They asked for equal authority to subpoena witnesses in agreement of the two top Republican and Democrat, we gave it to them. What we did not give to them was a Commission that was given a mandate to look at every violent act that may have occurred. This was a specific, unique, violent insurrection against the democracy and against the Capitol of the United States. It is a sad day. It is clear that bipartisanship, at least from the top, does not exist.

We would prefer to have a Commission, bipartisan, equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, equal authority in terms of agreeing with one another or the Committee agreeing to subpoena witnesses. That's what we ought to do. But if we cannot do that because of Republican obstruction and Republicans not wanting to get to the truth, and Trump telling them, no, we're not for this division. Then in that event, I think we have no option but to move forward to make sure the American people have the truth.

And McCarthy will not, in effect, take yes for an answer in terms of what he thought the Commission ought to look like. It looks like what he said he wanted. I don’t know why, other than Trump doesn't want the Commission, which is, I presume, why he doesn't want the Commission."

On the Situation in Israel and Gaza

"Clearly, we want the fighting to stop. Clearly, we want innocent civilians to be safe. But the fact of the matter is, Hamas does not respond to requests and they initiated rockets. They've been doing rockets on a regular basis. And it would be irrational to think that the Israelis are not going to respond to protect themselves and their people."