House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed a bill on Monday to create a Democratic-controlled select House committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot after Republicans blocked a proposal that would have given them more control over a bipartisan, bicameral commission look into the attack.
And in a twist, Pelosi is “seriously considering” appointing a Republican to the body, which would give the committee closer to even-partisan representation while still allowing Democrats more power than they would have had in the failed Jan. 6 commission.
“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 statement on Monday. “January 6th was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure such an attack cannot again happen. The Select Committee will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the attack and report recommendations for preventing any future assault.”
Text of the bill proposal allows Pelosi to appoint 13 members, with five of those being appointed after “consultation” with Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Members of the committee will be tasked with reporting on the “facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex,” including “facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies in the National Capital Region and other instrumentalities of government, as well as the influencing factors that fomented such an attack on American representative democracy while engaged in a constitutional process.”
The bill would also authorize the committee chair to issue subpoenas and order dispositions without input from the Republican minority.
The House is expected to vote on the resolution on Wednesday.
Even if Pelosi does choose a Republican to fill one of her eight slots and create the committee with six Republicans and seven Democrats, the Democrats on her select committee will have far more power than they would have had in the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission bill blocked by Senate Republicans last month.
That commission bill would have created a body with even-partisan appointments, with input from Senate leaders. It also would have required bipartisan consensus on the issuance of subpoenas and mandated the commission complete a final report by Dec. 31, 2021, which would be before the 2022 campaign season gets into full swing.
Unlike the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission proposal, Pelosi’s select committee has no end date to submit a report.
Top Republicans Pelosi may be considering to put on the committee are likely those most outspoken about former President Donald Trump’s role in the attack, such as Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom Republicans ousted from her No. 3 leadership position over her vocal criticism of Trump and the riot earlier this year.
Cheney told reporters on Monday evening that whether she would serve on the committee is "up to the Speaker," adding that she has not spoken to Pelosi about it.
Last week, McCarthy dismissed Pelosi’s expected announcement of a select committee.
“The speaker has never talked to me about it. I haven't seen the structure of what it does or anything else. I won't go there,” McCarthy told reporters. “I recommend you read the work that the bipartisan committees in the Senate have done.”
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Original Author: Emily Brooks