Cline’s phony bipartisanship

In my previous Cline Watch post, I noted that Congressman Cline had offered no explanation for his vote against a bipartisan commission to examine the violent pro-Trump January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Since then, Justin Faulconer of The Amherst New Era-Progress had a chance to ask Cline about his vote after a meeting of the Amherst County Republican Committee:

Cline recently voted against legislation to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol when a mob of supporters of former President Trump stormed the building to stop congressional affirmation of Biden’s win. All 217 Democrats in the House backed the measure and 35 Republicans joined in supporting the bill.

In a brief interview, Cline said he supports a commission “that is fair, balanced and nonpartisan” and he does not trust the bill Pelosi and Democrats pushed through.

“If another [bill] comes up that is, I would be happy to vote for a fair, balanced, nonpartisan commission,” Cline said. “… It was not a non-partisan proposal and that’s why I voted against it. But I would support a fair and nonpartisan commission.”

So as I understand it, Cline would support a fair, balanced and nonpartisan commission.

Unfortunately he didn’t explain why he thought the commission he opposed was unfair, imbalanced and partisan. I hope a member of the local media will press him for more details.

In fact the legislation he voted against was the product of an agreement between Republican Congressman John Katko and Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson– not “Pelosi and the Democrats.” It was “fair, balanced and nonpartisan” enough for 35 of Cline’s fellow House Republicans to vote for it.

Cline, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, voted against the commission despite the endorsement of the caucus– which suggests he is more interested in posing as bipartisan than in being bipartisan.

(Despite a majority vote in the Senate and the support of six Republicans, the commission was blocked by a filibuster in the Senate.)

If Cline is so eager for a fair, balanced and nonpartisan commission, maybe he should introduce his own legislation. But I doubt his idea of “nonpartisan” would match that of even the most moderate and accommodating Democrat.

Or perhaps– just perhaps– he isn’t really interested in getting to the truth about the awful events of January 6 at all.

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