Rep. John Katko, Democrats agree on commission to probe US Capitol attack


It also comes as the facts about the January 6 riot continue to be disputed by Republican members of Congress and just days after Rep. Liz Cheney lost her GOP leadership position in the House for speaking out against the "big lie" that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump - the same baseless narrative that led to the Capitol insurrection over four months ago.

House lawmakers have a reached a deal on a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and to recommend changes to further protect the complex. "The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the U.S. Capitol".

The legislation must still be voted on, first by the House and then by the Senate before it is sent to the White House for final approval.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the legislation could be considered by the House "as soon as next week", along with a spending bill to pay for security improvements to the Capitol.

While Democrats and some Republicans cheered the announcement, GOP leaders remained dismissive, arguing that a commission had to be tasked with investigating more than just the insurrectionif its intention was truly to make the Capitol and its people safer.

"If this commission is going to come forward to tell us how to protect this facility in the future, you want to make sure that the scope, that you can look at all that came up before and what came up after".

John Katko, the ranking member on the committee, led negotiations with the Democrats to reach a consensus about the commission.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress reached an agreement Friday on creating an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot - but the House GOP leader said he didn't sign off on the deal moments after it was announced.

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Pelosi previously proposed having an 11-member committee dominated by seven Democrats while Republicans would have only four members.

Democrats, who control the majority in the House and Senate, would appoint the commission chair.

The commission will have the authority to issue subpoenas to secure information to carry out its investigation, but that will require agreement between the chair and the vice chair or a vote by a majority of commission members, according to the bill. Current government officers or employees would be prohibited from appointment, according to the bipartisan duo, and each party would select five members to be on the commission.

Katko, R-Camillus, was among 10 House Republicans who voted with a unanimous bloc of Democrats to impeach Trump, who was later acquitted after a trial in the Senate.

Just this week, House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from the No. 3 spot in their leadership ranks, over her public campaign to hold Trump accountable for promoting "the Big Lie" that President Biden stole the election from him.

House Homeland Security Chairman Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said lawmakers "owe it to the Capitol Police" to conduct a thorough investigation of the attack.

In a statement issued later Friday morning, Katko said the proposed commission would "investigate" the January 6 attack and security vulnerabilities of the Capitol complex, but added that the "Capitol remains a target for extremists of all ideologies".

The House impeached Trump one week after the insurrection for telling his supporters to "fight like hell" in a speech just before the attack. Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the events leading up to the Capitol riot, was succeeded Friday by Rep. Elise Stefanik, of NY, a staunch Trump defender.