On Friday the bipartisan commission bill to investigate the January 6th Capitol riots “went down in flames” in a 54-35 vote, falling short of the needed 60 votes to bypass the Senate filibuster. Every Democrat present supported the bill and six Republican senators joined them. Eleven senators, including two Democrats, did not cast a vote, adding to the “no” category. Democrats, however, have a backup plan. The plan includes a select House committee that does not need Republican support in order to be established.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement after Friday’s vote pledging “Democrats will proceed to find the truth.” Her statement said, “Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection bring shame to the Senate.” She also claimed, “Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe.”
Many Democratic members of the House are publicly supporting the backup plan, urging Pelosi and leadership to establish the committee. Vox reports, “such a committee would differ from the proposed bipartisan commission in several key ways, but it could still take steps to ensure accountability for those involved in the insurrection.”
“Notably, a select committee would be composed of members of Congress rather than outside experts, and the subpoena power would function differently – but, crucially, it could also be created with only a simple majority vote in the House” reports Vox. Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) told CNN “Congress should create a select committee to fully investigate the causes and consequences of the insurrection on January 6.” Castro served as an impeachment manager in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted after Friday’s vote, “Mitch McConnell thinks he can stop the full truth from coming out. He cannot. The House can empower a bipartisan select congressional committee to investigate the insurrection, The select committee would also have stronger subpoena power because GOP Members can’t block subpoenas.”
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