House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking to appoint a bipartisan select committee to investigate the Capitol insurrection.
One month after congressional Republicans blocked a bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, congressional Republicans are demanding a bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
The House in May passed by a vote of 252-175 a bill that would have created a bipartisan commission modeled on the one that investigated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The bill, the result of a compromise between Republican Rep. John Katko of New York and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, was nearly identical to a January GOP proposal. It would have established an outside panel with an even number of Democratic and Republican appointees.
But just 35 Republicans joined the Democratic majority in voting for it after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to support it and Donald Trump instructed Republican lawmakers to block the legislation.
Days later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he and his Republican caucus would filibuster the bill. "I do not believe the additional, extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts, or promote healing," he said in a Senate floor speech. "Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that."
On May 28, 44 Senate Republicans stopped the bill from coming up for a vote.
Up against the GOP's intransigence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced legislation on Monday to create a House special committee to investigate the January insurrection.
Her proposal, likely to come up for a vote on Wednesday, would establish the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Pelosi would appoint 13 representatives to the committee, five of them "after consultation with the minority leader."
"When it comes to what happened on Jan. 6, we want to get to the bottom of that; it's disgusting what transpired that day," McCarthy said on June 24. "Unfortunately, the speaker has always played politics with this. Time and again."
"I led the charge to create a January 6th commission that would be external, independent, bipartisan & equitable in membership and subpoena power. The select committee proposed by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is literally the exact opposite of that," Katko said in a statement on Monday. "It would be a turbo-charged partisan exercise, not an honest fact-finding body that the American people and Capitol Police deserve."
"Unfortunately we suspected this would happen if it didn't survive," said Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks on Tuesday. "I won't vote for the Pelosi bill."
"I supported the 1/6 commission last month because it gave Republicans an equal seat at the table. Speaker Pelosi's partisan commission put forward last night cuts Republicans out of the process," wrote Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez. "I never have, and I never will, support a partisan and politicized investigation."
"Instead of working with Republicans to actually make a bipartisan commission, @SpeakerPelosi is now creating a select committee to investigate January 6th," tweeted Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan on June 22. "Let me tell you straight, this isn't about getting answers, this is all politics."
"I'm voting no on the bill because it's not going to do what we need," said Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. "I want something the American people can believe, and find credible. And the only way to do that I believe is a 9/11 style commission which I voted for."
"Sadly, as of last week, there remains no prospect for additional votes from Republican Senators to create the National Commission to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol Complex," Pelosi said in a Monday press statement.
"It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure such an attack cannot again happen," she wrote. "The Select Committee will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the attack and report recommendations for preventing any future assault."
A Pelosi aide told the Washington Post on Monday, "The speaker is seriously considering including a Republican among her eight appointments to the Select Committee."
Though McClain is now opposing the legislation that would establish the committee as too partisan, she also voted against the bipartisan independent commission based on the same argument.
"While both Republicans and Democrats will be equally represented on the commission itself, the Democratic chairman gets to approve all hires of staff," she claimed at the time, ignoring language in the bill that explicitly said staff would be selected after bipartisan consultation. "This almost guarantees the commission will be stacked with biased investigators who will have a predetermined conclusion," McClain said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.