Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced a bill on the formation of a commission on the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Members of Congress have reached a deal on a commission that will probe the violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol 128 days after a mob of Donald Trump supporters carried out the attack. The deal, reached by House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and ranking member John Katko (R-NY), was announced by Thompson.
The House is expected to vote on a bill that would establish the commission in the coming weeks, according to a report from CNBC.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday morning that he wanted the commission to look beyond the Capitol insurrection: "I know Nancy Pelosi played politics with this for a number of months, and you got to look at the buildup before, and what went on afterward, otherwise the commission is not worth it," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Congress has held multiple hearings on the events of the Jan. 6 insurrection, when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol to demand lawmakers block certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in the 2020 presidential election. Five people died as a result, and roughly 140 law enforcement officers were injured with everything from head trauma to burns.
However, the so-called National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex will not be made up of members of Congress or any currently serving government officials.
Instead, it will have 10 members, 5 each appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, who will be experts in key fields such as law enforcement, intelligence, counterterrorism, law, and civil rights.
The commission will have the power to subpoena documents and testimony related to the attack from relevant figures and government departments.
Thompson said in a statement announcing the deal on the commission:
Inaction — or just moving on — is simply not an option. The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the U.S. Capitol. After all, the Capitol is not just a historic landmark; it is where our constituents come to see their democracy in action. As such, we owe it to the Capitol Police and all who enter our citadel of democracy to investigate the attack. The timing of this action is particularly poignant with this being National Police Week, when we honor those who gave their lives to protect us.
Democrats have been pushing for a commission for months.
However, Republican leaders were blocking a deal by demanding it also look into Black Lives Matter protests and antifa, which had nothing to do with the Jan. 6 attack.
The GOP lost that battle: The deal reached by Thompson and Katko does not include BLM or antifa in the commission's charge.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Republicans were blocking the commission because some GOP lawmakers may be implicated in the findings of the review.
McCarthy did not commit to voting for it. He reportedly said Friday that he wants to see the details and that he wants the commission to focus on more than just the events of Jan. 6.
The commission is mandated to submit a final report to the president and Congress by the end of 2021.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.