The top Democrat and Republican on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee say they have reached a deal to push forward with a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the January 6 storming of the US Capitol.
In a statement, Democratic chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking member John Katko said they would introduce legislation for consideration before the House as soon as next week to set up the investigative panel modelled after the one used to probe the attacks of September 11, 2001.
“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that… we need an independent commission to investigate,” Thompson said in a statement.
“Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option.”
In a separate statement, Katko said the Capitol remained a target for extremists.
“This is about facts, not partisan politics,” he said.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the agreement, calling the attack “one of the darkest days in our history” and adding that the House would also move forward soon on an emergency spending measure to boost security at the complex.
“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack,” she said in a statement.
Like the September 11 panel, the proposed 10-member panel would have five commissioners appointed by each party as well as subpoena authority.
Its report and “recommendations to prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions” would be due by December 31, the lawmakers said.
The agreement paves the way for the panel’s creation after both parties disagreed over the scope of the investigation.
Both the House and the Senate would have to approve the bill, which would then go to President Joe Biden to sign into law.