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Rep. Eric Swalwell says GOP opponents of the Jan. 6 commission aren't 'standing up for the cops that protected them'

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Eric Swalwell
Representative Eric Swalwell of California. JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell criticized GOP opponents of a bill that would create a January 6 commission.

  • He said that Republicans are "blowing it" and not "standing up" for the cops that protected them.

  • Swalwell was hopeful that the bill could clear the Senate, despite opposition from Mitch McConnell.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California criticized the overwhelming GOP opposition to a bipartisan January 6 commission in a recent podcast interview with The Daily Beast, saying that the party is "completely blowing it."

During an episode of "The New Abnormal" featuring editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, Swalwell mocked the Republican Party's approach to handling the bill, which Democrats modified in order to secure GOP support for investigating the deadly Capitol insurrection.

"Go negotiate this deal. Get everything we want, bring it back, and then let's reject it," Swalwell said of the strategy of GOP leadership. "That's a hell of a game plan. If this is any preview of how they would govern, I think it's good reason not to let them anywhere close to a [House] majority."

Swalwell lauded Democratic attempts to enact policing reforms and seek answers regarding the safety of the officers who protect lawmakers at the Capitol complex.

"When you look at law and order, you're starting to see a party that can hold the cops accountable when they make mistakes and put reforms in place, but also a party that can stand by them when they act honorably," he said. "Here, you see they're [Republicans are] completely blowing it and walking away when it comes to standing up for the cops that protected them."

He added: "There are Republican colleagues of mine who I think look these officers in the eyes, recognize that these are the people who take care us, and this is the one opportunity to show them that you're taking care of them and saying a meaningful thank you to them."

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Swalwell said that a few Republicans are starting to envision their party without the influence of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House for his role in the riot and is highly critical of the legislation.

While the House passed the bill to establish the commission in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining every Democrat to back the legislation, Swalwell pointed out that most of the GOP still shunned it.

"We're talking about 80%t went the other way, right?," he said. "So I don't give them too much credit. I was heartened to see 35 of them."

Swalwell also said that he was surprised that 7 Republicans joined 50 Democrats to find guilty Trump of incitement of insurrection in his second Senate impeachment trial.

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky came out against the bill last week, imperiling its chances to overcome a filibuster, Swalwell is still hoping for some GOP support in the upper chamber.

"I would hope that the seven that voted to remove Donald Trump for causing the insurrection would at least want to understand what an independent commission said about the insurrection," he said. "Almost every recommendation from the September 11 Commission was put into place so that we would be safer. And so if we can't do that [for January 6], who's to say that this couldn't happen again?"

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