House Democrats announced on Friday that an agreement has been reached to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to Politico.
While the bill does not yet have the backing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the news outlet reported that his sign-off is not necessary to move forward with the plan.
Gridlock over the bill’s provisions and partisan sniping had stalled progress on the commission for months after the attack. And while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday he hadn’t formally signed off on the agreement, the deal announced Friday by House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.) does include some key concessions to Republicans.
The bill could come to the floor “as soon as next week,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday, noting that the panel is modeled after a bipartisan study of events leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That floor vote will likely be followed by a long-awaited emergency funding bill to address security flaws within the Capitol that the siege exposed.
In changes sought by Republicans, the proposed 10-person commission includes an even split between members chosen by Republicans and Democrats. It also ensures members of the commission can only issue subpoenas in a bipartisan manner. The commission is only able to issue subpoenas through a majority vote, or by agreement between its chair and vice chair. Democrats choose the chair.
McCarthy and other Republicans had wanted the commission to investigate left-wing violence, but its focus will be limited to the Jan. 6 attack and factors leading up to it.
Politico noted that “Democrats can still proceed without McCarthy’s explicit backing, as several other House Republicans — including those who voted for impeachment — are expected to back it on the floor.”
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