House Republicans today plan to force their colleagues to vote on whether to launch an investigation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s allegation that the CIA misled her, a move that will force Democrats to take a stand on a politically contentious issue.
The measure has virtually no chance of passing, given the Democratic majority in the House, and the wide support inside the caucus for Pelosi, D-Calif.
But Republican aides say they want to force the full House to vote on whether to create a special, bipartisan subcommittee to investigate the speaker’s claims — a move that keeps Pelosi in a harsh spotlight for another day, and forces some Democrats into a potentially awkward vote.
“The speaker has had a full week now to either produce the evidence or retract and apologize, and she’s done neither,” a senior Republican aide tells ABC News. “There is no choice now. A bipartisan investigation is needed to get to the facts."
As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line” yesterday, Republicans don’t want this issue to fade, with next week’s Memorial Day break looming.
“We do go home for this Memorial [Day] break so there is a concern that this will dissipate over time. If it does then it’ll be the country that pays the price,” said King, who supports a more harsh resolution that would strip Pelosi of her security clearances until the matter is resolved.
UPDATE: Democrats voted to table the resolution that would have required an investigation, with a 252-172 party-line vote. So Republicans got the vote they wanted, albeit not directly.
UPDATE II: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called a press conference to blast Republicans’ “policy of distraction” by focusing on Pelosi, instead of the core issues regarding interrogation techniques and policies.
“Republicans for the last few weeks have been focused on the politics of personal destruction,” Hoyer said. “This was a distraction — a distraction because the minority party does not want to look at what George Bush did.”