WASHINGTON – Thirty-five Republicans joined Democrats Wednesday in passing a bill to create a bipartisan, independent commission to thoroughly investigate the Capitol riot Jan. 6, giving hope to backers it might also pass the Senate despite Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition.
The bill creating the panel would give the commission subpoena power to call witnesses and produce a report by Dec. 31. Modeled after the widely hailed, independent panel that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, this commission would be charged with scrutinizing what provoked a pro-Trump mob to assault the Capitol and what can be done to prevent another attack.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Americans would have confidence in the commission’s findings because it is bipartisan. She also said that the report and recommendations would carry more weight for combining all the information uncovered about the attack, in contrast to a series of hearings working on narrow topics.
“It sounds like they’re afraid of the truth and that’s most unfortunate,” Pelosi said of Republican opposition. “But hopefully they will get used to the idea that the American people want us to find the truth and that’s what we intend to do.”
The vote on the bill was 252-175. It now heads to the Senate.
McConnell criticizedthe bill, co-sponsored by Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson and New York Republican John Katko, as “slanted and unbalanced.” One of McConnell’s concerns is that the Democratic chairman would control staff hiring.
McConnell’s opposition could be enough to torpedo the commission, seen by Democrats as necessary to independently examine the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6 that left five dead and 140 police officers injured.
Leading GOP lawmakers, including House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have said they oppose any commission that would look at the Jan. 6 attack without examining protests by Black Lives Matter activists during the summer. ReadMore
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