Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission

Lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement Friday on legislation to establish a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to review the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol ahead of an expected vote next week.

The bill would include an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, offering a chance to cap a lengthy negotiation between congressional leaders.

“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Ocasio-Cortez on Taylor Greene: ‘These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time’ MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.


“Today a bipartisan agreement to form such a commission has been reached, with legislation to create it set to reach the Floor as soon as next week.”

The legislation calls for an investigation into the riot and “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police… as well as the influencing factors that fomented such attack on American representative democracy.”

The commission would include 10 members with expertise in law enforcement and national security backgrounds, with each party appointing five.

It’s a key diversion from one of the earliest proposals from Pelosi, which would have created an 11-member committee with seven members appointed by Democrats compared to just four by Republicans.

It also addresses another prior sticking point by allowing subpoenas when both the chair and vice chair of the commission agree or by vote of a majority of the commission’s members.


Pelosi had previously sought to keep the commission narrowly focused on events leading up to the attack on Jan. 6, while the GOP has pushed to cover violent protests in general, echoing previous complaints about Black Lives Matter protesters.

Still, the deal has yet to secure the blessing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRoy to challenge Stefanik for Cheney’s old position Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Why Cheney was toppled, and what it says about the GOP and Trump’s claims MORE (R-Calif.), who told reporters early Friday he had yet to fully read the legislation.

“I haven’t looked all the way through it,” McCarthy said, adding that the commission would need a wide-ranging purview.

He also pointed to the recent death of a Capitol Police officer after a man, who was also killed in the attack, rammed his car into a Capitol barricade and come out with a knife.

“We had an officer killed on Good Friday. If this commission is going to come forth to tell us how to protect this facility in the future you want to make sure that the scope — that you can look at all that.”


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week Masks shed at White House; McConnell: ‘Free at last’ MORE (R-Ky.) had also pushed back on another April proposal from Pelosi that offered an evenly split commission based on the scope of the investigation.

“The scope of it needs to deal with a little bit broader than just January the 6th. We’ve also had a number of violent disturbances around the country last year and I think we ought to look at this in a broader scope and with a totally balanced 9/11 style commission,” he told reporters at the time.

Friday’s legislation largely mirrors the commission established following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which had five Democrats and five Republicans on a panel designed “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks.”

The measure tees up an end-of-the-year deadline for the commission to submit its own report to Congress.

“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that what we need [is] an independent commission to investigate,” House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and ranking member John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHouse lawmakers roll out bill to invest 0 million in state and local cybersecurity Pentagon removing Chinese tech giant from blacklist after court loss Hillicon Valley: Feds eye more oversight of pipelines after Colonial attack | White House monitoring fuel shortages | Democrats urge Facebook to reverse WhatsApp update | Biden announces deal with Uber, Lyft for free vaccine rides MORE (R-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

Scott Wong contributed. Updated at 10:34 a.m.

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