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Opinion OPINION: The Capitol Riot shouldn’t be Congress’s main concern

OPINION: The Capitol Riot shouldn’t be Congress’s main concern

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On Feb. 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a “9/11-type Commission” designed to apprehend the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. This is the absolute last thing that anyone in Congress should be worried about. 

A part of me understands why this happened. Over the last few years, more and more policymakers have begun valuing ideology and perception over actual, physical reforms. This is why Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial took place at all, even if there was little chance of it actually succeeding. It is as if they hope that, by being on the “right” side of history, the American public will value their “contributions” for years to come. 

However, there is a clear and obvious thing wrong with valuing ideology over all else: namely, that there are no future “contributions” to analyze, as there has been no concrete change in sight. 

This has especially been true as it pertains to COVID-19 aid. Because the global lockdown last year caused massive job loss across the board, there are still millions of Americans struggling to pay their bills and support their families. Things have especially turned dire over the past week in Texas, as Winter Storm Uri has left the majority of the state without power or adequate heating. If there were a time for stimulus checks to arrive, it would be now. 

But day by day, it seems as though the mere concept of stimulus checks have turned into a punchline. Congress has fought over the specifics of Biden’s proposed COVID relief package for weeks now. There is still a lot of confusion over when people will receive checks, how much the checks will be and where people can find additional help due to outstanding situations. In the meantime, Pelosi and the rest of the House of Representatives have made the second impeachment and Capitol Riot commission their priority. 

This intense focus on denouncing the Trump administration has become ridiculous. Yes, there is good reason to denounce Trump and his horrific policies. But the past few weeks have reeked of Democratic grandstanding. 

Then again, this is probably because we are in the beginnings of Joe Biden’s presidency. Biden has never used his policy work to win voters. He instead markets himself as anti-Trump and only as anti-Trump. Even during the Democratic primaries, Biden’s campaign could have just as easily used “Not Trump” as a slogan. So it should be no surprise that this is the exact attitude he’s gone into his presidency with. 

Yet there is a difference between “working to fix problems” and “pretending to fix problems”, and Biden has spent the first few weeks of his presidency doing the latter. Biden’s administration is so focused on getting the ideological win over the Trump administration that they have discarded the concerns of the public. Instead of focusing their efforts to provide COVID-related aid for millions, there is a “9/11-type Commission” to address a far less pressing issue. 

It’s incredibly ironic that Pelosi’s letter mentions George Washington’s stance against parties as a way to justify the Jan. 6 commission. In actuality, the Biden administration’s constant harping on the Capitol Riot shows the dangers of “cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” using governmental powers for their own ends.

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