House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Wednesday that GOP leaders and former President Donald Trump aren’t backing the formation of a bipartisan commission to study the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol because they are scared of what would be unearthed.
“It sounds like they are afraid of the truth and that’s most unfortunate, but hopefully they’ll get used to the idea that the American people want us to find the truth,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a Capitol news conference. “And that is what we intend to do.”
Pelosi’s comments came just hours before the House was to vote on forming a 9/11-style bipartisan commission to investigate the origins of the Jan. 6 riot and make recommendations on how to prevent such an assault from happening again. The legislation would then head to the Senate.
MCCONNELL OPPOSES JAN. 6 CAPITOL RIOT COMMISSION: ‘SLANTED AND UNBALANCED’
Trump, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have all come out against the formation of the commission.
The opposition from House Republican leaders seemed to take some Democrats aback because a Republican, Rep. John Katko of New York, authored the bipartisan bill with Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the two had forged a compromise on some thorny issues.
The agreement met one major Republican demand by including an equal number of members from each party and requires majority approval to issue subpoenas. But it did not meet another condition that McCarthy and some other Republicans wanted: to investigate other political violence, such as Antifa riots, in addition to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
JAN. 6 COMMISSION EXPECTED TO GET SUPPORT FROM MODERATE HOUSE REPUBLICANS, DESPITE MCCARTHY’S OPPOSITION
Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called his work with Katko a “labor of love.”
The Democrat said he was in “shock” when McCarthy undermined the legislation at the end since he was informed of negotiations throughout the process.
“We didn’t want it to become purely political, that’s why we worked diligently to make it bipartisan,” Thompson said of his hours of work with Katko.
MCCARTHY, REPUBLICANS OPPOSE JAN. 6 CAPITOL ATTACK COMMISSION OVER EXCLUSION OF OTHER POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Like the 9/11 Commission, the Jan. 6 panel would be a 10-person bipartisan commission. Half of the commissioners would be appointed by Democrats and the other half would be appointed by Republicans. The commission will have subpoena power to carry out the investigation but there must be bipartisan agreement by the chair and vice-chair or by a vote by a majority of commission members.
The House is also voting on $1.9 billion in supplemental security funding to respond to the Jan. 6 attack that would boost funding for the U.S. Capitol Police, the National Guard and securing the Capitol complex.
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On Jan. 6, a group seeking to stop the certification of President Biden’s election victory stormed the Capitol, destroyed property and forced lawmakers to take shelter. About 140 police officers were injured in the riot and five people died, including Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered a stroke after defending the Capitol.
Federal law enforcement officials have made more than 400 arrests of individuals involved in the siege.