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Bipartisan duo in Congress announces commission to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol attack

The two parties have argued over the scope and format of this commission.

Lawmakers announced on Friday that after months of stalled negotiations they had reached an agreement on a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

A vote on the commission bill is expected on the House floor next week, but the timing for a vote in the Senate is still unclear.

“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 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 statement said.

The announcement of an agreement comes after months of intense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on the size and scope of the commission.

Earlier this month, Pelosi deputized House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to finalize negotiations with ranking member GOP Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.

The legislation calls for an investigation into the riot at the Capitol 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 agreed-upon commission would include 10 members with significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence and cybersecurity. Current government officers or employees would be prohibited from appointment, according to the bipartisan duo, and each party would select five members to be on the commission.

The commission would have the authority to issue subpoenas as part of its investigation, but that would require agreement between the chair and the vice-chair, or a vote by a majority of commission members, according to the bill text.

The body would also be required to issue a final report with findings regarding the facts and causes of the attack, along with recommendations to prevent future attacks on American democratic institutions by the end of the year.

While Pelosi touted victory on Friday, her counterpart, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, said he still hasn’t looked at the details.

“I haven’t looked all the way through it,” McCarthy said, adding that he believes the commission should look at all political violence, instead of the narrower scope that Democrats have called for.


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