The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to establish an independent commission, setting up a more partisan probe that will likely be a point of major contention between the two parties.
Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, … [+]
The House voted 222-190, largely along party lines, to pass a resolution to create the committee, with only Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) voting with Democrats.
The committee, which has an open-ended time line and is narrowly focused on the attack, will have 13 members, who will all be appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 5 “after consultation” with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Rep. Michelle Fischabach (R-Minn.) alleged Democrats “refuse to put together a truly bipartisan commission” after she and most House Republicans voted against an evenly divided independent commission, which was later blocked by the Senate GOP.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe what I just heard,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) shot back, noting most House Republicans voted no, to which Fischbach replied, “It was not this body that stopped the commission.”
Kinzinger said he voted for the committee in part out of concern that conspiracy theories around the attack will grow “longer and crazier” as long as “we don’t have answers.”
Few House Republicans were willing to give floor speeches on the resolution, with over a dozen Democrats delivering floor speeches in support of the committee and only four Republicans speaking against it.
175. That’s how many House Republicans voted against the independent commission, which was structured to give Democratic and Republican leadership equal representation and power over witnesses and subpoenas. In the Senate, 35 Republicans were able to filibuster the commission, effectively killing it.
The makeup of the committee is similar to that of the 2014 Benghazi select committee, to which then Speaker John Boehner appointed all 12 members, including 5 “after consultation” with Pelosi, who was minority leader at the time. Fischbach said the January 6 committee is “far more skewed” and “all appointed by the speaker,” but McGovern shot back that it’s the “exact same language.”
Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone and family members of deceased Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick sat in the gallery and watched as the House debated and voted on the resolution. ”To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, please—no lectures on respect for the police,” McGovern said of their presence.
“Today, we go on the record,” Pelosi said in a floor speech ahead of the vote, adding, “It does not appear, at this time, that we can have a bipartisan commission.” Pelosi called for all members vote “do what is right” and “be on the right side of not only history, but the right side of the future.”
What To Watch For
Unlike the commission, the select committee does not require Senate approval. Pelosi and McCarthy have not said whom they will appoint to the committee, though a Pelosi aide told Forbes she is considering a Republican.