Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee have caved to Democrats’ demands for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
GOP Rep. John Katko, the ranking member on the committee, led negotiations with the Democrats to reach a consensus about the commission. His support for the commission is being marketed by the corporate media as “bipartisan support,” but the New York representative is one of few Republicans in the House who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump the second time Democrats targeted him. Katko also blames Trump for causing the “insurrection” at the Capitol.
“By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger,” Katko said in a statement in January.
Pelosi previously proposed having an 11-member committee dominated by seven Democrats while Republicans would have only four members. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Katko, however, decided a 10-person committee with equal partisanship is necessary to move forward.
It is unclear at this point what kind of members the GOP will place on the committee. Subpoenas will also be allowed as long as the chair and vice-chair of the commission concur or a majority of the commission votes to issue.
“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that what we need [is] an independent commission to investigate,” Thompson and Katko said in a joint statement.
The commission does not have full GOP support. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted he has yet to read the legislation, and other Republicans have objected to keeping the commission’s focus on Jan 6. instead of expanding it to all of the violence that occurred during the summer of rage riots last year.
A vote on the commission is expected next week.