House Reaches Agreement on Capitol Riot Commission

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A bipartisan commission will investigate the January 6 Capitol riot, which left five people dead. The House Committee on Homeland Security commission is tasked with “investigating and reporting upon the facts and causes of the January 6 attack on the Capitol as well as the influencing factors that may have provoked the attack on our democracy,” according to a fact sheet released today.

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi, said that he and ranking member John Katko, of New York, will introduce H.R. 3233, also known as the “National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act,” in the House on Friday.

The makeup of the commission will resemble the one that investigated 9/11 in the early 2000s. It will consist of ten commissioners, five chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the other five, including the vice-chair, to be selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The chosen commissioners cannot be current government employees or officers and must have “significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence, and cybersecurity.”

The commission will be allowed to hold hearings, receive testimony, and issue subpoenas for witnesses or evidence, in agreement with the chair and vice-chair, or by a majority vote of the panel’s members. A final report, which might include recommended changes to law or policy, will be issued to President Biden and Congress by no later than December 31, 2021.

“Inaction — or just moving on — is simply not an option,” Thompson said in a statement. “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.”

House Reaches Agreement on Capitol Riot Commission