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house Bill H.R. 3233

Should an Independent, Bipartisan Commission Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol?

Argument in favor

An independent commission filled with members who aren’t currently serving in government and are selected on a bipartisan basis is the most effective way to deliver a clear-eyed investigation into the attack on the Capitol that occurred January 6th. The American people and the Capitol Police deserve an earnest and open investigation into the Capitol attack.

Azrael's Opinion
···
05/19/2021
If they don’t agree than DOJ must immediately appoint a special council to investigate One way or the other it must be done
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jimK's Opinion
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05/19/2021
The January 6th attack on our Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the ministerial function of Congress to certify the election results was a clear attempt to disrupt a key governmental operation at the home of our congressional legislators. If this unique event in the history of this country, this humiliating stain on our Country’s reputation and position in the world order does not deserve an in-depth investigation, I can think of nothing else that ever should. The Republicans are resisting and trying to conflate the attack on our government as being somehow equivalent to protests that got out of hand. It is NOT the same. … … … A separate in-depth investigation of the people that caused the riots after peaceful protests may well be needed, especially because the ones most arrested, armed with accelerants and tools for breaking store front plate glass windows, were found to be affiliated with White Supremacist/Nationalist groups and were inciting riots to discredit peaceful BLM protests. Just because it is politically convenient to characterize the BLM and ANTIFA groups as being radical threats does not make it true. The trump’s own intelligence and National security teams agreed while the trump was in office that group’s affiliated with the paramilitary White Power movement was the must significant domestic terrorism threat- they did not include the BLM or the ANTIFA movements as any domestic terrorism threat. This report was suppressed by the trump and not released until he left office. So investigate the ones instigating the riots, who was encouraging and endorsing them- who was inciting them to violence. … … … The bipartisan program agreed to by senior Republicans and Democrats, meeting all of the requirements demanded by the forked tongue Republican leadership- is suddenly now not good enough for them to support! This typical Republican rope-a-doping of legislation which will never be good enough for them to support as they whine about anything put before them. They only point out deficiencies after the fact while never offering solutions. This has been happened for the last 12 years and yet the Democrats still cling to the hope that the fairy god-mother of ethical behavior will, this time, finally sprinkle some magical fairy dust on the Republican leadership. WON’T HAPPEN THIS TIME, EITHER. Bypass the obstructionist A-Holes - it the the right thing to do, it is the necessary thing to do. Most people are tired of their ever present war against democracy and self-righteous daily whining sessions. There are other ways to do this investigation - use them.
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Judith 's Opinion
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05/19/2021
8 investigations into Hillary and Benghazi and 1 investigation into an attempted coup of our government and that is 1 investigation too much? We must do this to get to the truth.
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Argument opposed

This January 6th commission’s purview is duplicative of ongoing investigations by bipartisan congressional committees and the apolitical Architect of the Capitol. It also omits other prominent instances of political violence, and could interfere with ongoing probes and prosecutions by the Dept. of Justice related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

Beverly 's Opinion
···
05/19/2021
Investigate all the riots through out the US leading up to the Jan 6th event. Why is one more important than the other.
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Rob's Opinion
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05/20/2021
What a waste of energy, time, and money. Jan 6th has become the most overblown non-event in recent memory. Don't @ me. The Capitol belongs to the people and the guards just et people in. Yeah, there were idiots in the crowd. But there were more fake MAGA causing trouble than actual MAGA folks. Again, don't @ me.
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Ronald's Opinion
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05/19/2021
There is never a truly "bipartisan" anything in DC. Jan 6 was a minor event. The BLM, Antifa riots in DC, and many places were, and are a Major issue.
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What is House Bill H.R. 3233?

This bill — the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act — would establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The commission would be required to investigate the facts and circumstances of the attack on the Capitol; identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and lessons learned from the attack; and submit reports about findings, conclusions, and recommendations to improve the detection, prevention, preparedness for, and response to targeted violence and domestic terrorism and improve the security posture of the Capitol. It would also establish a bipartisan process for appointing the members of the commission, who can’t be currently-serving government officials, along with procedures for its operations which are both described below.

The commission would have 10 members who have significant expertise in law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Commissioners couldn’t be current government officers or employees. Five commissioners including the chair would be selected by the Senate majority leader and House speaker (e.g. by Democrats), while five commissioners including the vice chair would be chosen by the House and Senate minority leaders (e.g. by Republicans).

Subpoena power would be extended to the commission so that it can obtain information for its investigation if there is an agreement between the chair and vice chair or a vote by a majority of commissioners.

The commission would be required to issue a final report with findings regarding the facts and causes of the attacks, along with recommendations to prevent future attacks on democratic institutions by December 31, 2021. 

Impact

Commissioners to be appointed by congressional leaders; Congress; and the Capitol Police.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3233

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) offered the following statement on the introduction of this bill to establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol:

“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that what we need an independent commission to investigate.  I am pleased that after many months of intensive discussion, Ranking Member Katko and I were able to reach a bipartisan agreement. Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option. The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the U.S. Capitol. After all, the Capitol is not just a historic landmark, it is where our constituents come to see their democracy in action.  As such, we owe it to the Capitol police and all who enter our citadel of democracy to investigate the attack. The timing of this action is particularly poignant with this being National Police Week, when we honor those who gave their lives to protect us.”

Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) released a statement explaining his support for the compromise he reached in developing legislation to establish the commission:

“I am confident Chairman Thompson and I negotiated a solid, fair agreement that is a dramatic improvement over previous proposals that sought to politicize a security review of the Capitol. I recognize there are differing views on this issue, which is an inherent part of the legislative process and not something I take personally. However, as the Republican Leader of the Homeland Security Committee, I feel a deep obligation to get the answers U.S. Capitol Police and Americans deserve and ensure an attack on the heart of our democracy never happens again.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) initially sought to give Democrats the ability to select an outright majority of commissioners, but expressed support for the Thompson-Katko compromise despite it providing both parties with an equal number of appointments. She released a statement in support of the proposal which read in part:

“On January 6, one of the darkest days in our history, our temple of democracy was attacked by insurrectionists.  The gleeful desecration of our Capitol resulted in multiple deaths, physical harm to over 140 members of law enforcement and terror and trauma among staff, support workers and Members. 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… Protecting the U.S. Capitol Complex and all who serve and work in it is of the highest priority, and therefore, the House will also soon move forward with an emergency security supplemental which will provide for the safety of Members and harden the Capitol against further attacks.”

Some Republican lawmakers, including those who voted in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump for his role in precipitating the January 6th attack, are expected to vote in favor of the commission. Those include most of the GOP members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which endorsed the proposal after an affirmative vote by more than three-quarters of the evenly-split PSC. 

Republican leadership in both chambers has argued that the scope of the commission’s investigation should be broader than the January 6th attack alone and include an assessment of instances of political violence prior to, and in the aftermath of, the January 6th attack. That includes opposition from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who would likely be asked to provide testimony to the commission about his reported statements to GOP lawmakers such as Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). He reportedly told them that when he asked then-President Donald Trump to encourage supporters to stop ransacking the Capitol during the January 6th attack that the president said, “Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” 

McCarthy released a statement explaining his opposition to the commission as proposed is based on what he believes is the potential for the commission’s probe to interfere and overlap with ongoing probes by the Dept. of Justice, the Architect of the Capitol, and bipartisan congressional committees; in addition to the omission of other incidences of political violence:

“For months, the Speaker of the House refused to negotiate in good faith on basic parameters that would govern a commission to examine the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol… While the Speaker has wasted time playing political games, numerous Congressional and intergovernmental agency efforts have picked up the slack. There are ongoing bipartisan investigations into all facets of the January 6 events occurring inside the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, as well as the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Additionally, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol has been allocated $10 million to conduct a full, apolitical review into ways to remedy any security vulnerabilities that exist in the Capitol complex. 
Most notably, the Department of Justice has announced 445 arrests in conjunction with the events of January 6, and expect 100 more arrests to follow. The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate any and all crimes committed that day, and I fully support these individuals being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately, the legislation being considered in the House this week is drafted in such a way that could interfere with and ultimately undermine these ongoing prosecutorial efforts - just one byproduct of a process that circumvents committee markup and is expected to come to the House floor under a closed rule.
Finally, the renewed focus by Democrats to now stand up and additional commission ignores the political violence that has struck American cities, a Republican Congressional baseball practice, and, most recently, the deadly attack on Capitol Police on April 2, 2021. The presence of this political violence in American society cannot be tolerated and it cannot be overlooked. I have communicated this to our Democrat colleagues for months and its omission is deeply concerning. Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act

Official Title

To establish the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed May 19th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 252 Yea / 175 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedMay 14th, 2021

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    If they don’t agree than DOJ must immediately appoint a special council to investigate One way or the other it must be done
    Like (110)
    Follow
    Share
    Investigate all the riots through out the US leading up to the Jan 6th event. Why is one more important than the other.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    The January 6th attack on our Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the ministerial function of Congress to certify the election results was a clear attempt to disrupt a key governmental operation at the home of our congressional legislators. If this unique event in the history of this country, this humiliating stain on our Country’s reputation and position in the world order does not deserve an in-depth investigation, I can think of nothing else that ever should. The Republicans are resisting and trying to conflate the attack on our government as being somehow equivalent to protests that got out of hand. It is NOT the same. … … … A separate in-depth investigation of the people that caused the riots after peaceful protests may well be needed, especially because the ones most arrested, armed with accelerants and tools for breaking store front plate glass windows, were found to be affiliated with White Supremacist/Nationalist groups and were inciting riots to discredit peaceful BLM protests. Just because it is politically convenient to characterize the BLM and ANTIFA groups as being radical threats does not make it true. The trump’s own intelligence and National security teams agreed while the trump was in office that group’s affiliated with the paramilitary White Power movement was the must significant domestic terrorism threat- they did not include the BLM or the ANTIFA movements as any domestic terrorism threat. This report was suppressed by the trump and not released until he left office. So investigate the ones instigating the riots, who was encouraging and endorsing them- who was inciting them to violence. … … … The bipartisan program agreed to by senior Republicans and Democrats, meeting all of the requirements demanded by the forked tongue Republican leadership- is suddenly now not good enough for them to support! This typical Republican rope-a-doping of legislation which will never be good enough for them to support as they whine about anything put before them. They only point out deficiencies after the fact while never offering solutions. This has been happened for the last 12 years and yet the Democrats still cling to the hope that the fairy god-mother of ethical behavior will, this time, finally sprinkle some magical fairy dust on the Republican leadership. WON’T HAPPEN THIS TIME, EITHER. Bypass the obstructionist A-Holes - it the the right thing to do, it is the necessary thing to do. Most people are tired of their ever present war against democracy and self-righteous daily whining sessions. There are other ways to do this investigation - use them.
    Like (107)
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    8 investigations into Hillary and Benghazi and 1 investigation into an attempted coup of our government and that is 1 investigation too much? We must do this to get to the truth.
    Like (69)
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    Yes an independent commission should already be investigating the attack on our Capitol on January 6th. By the way, it’s May 19th!!! Come on!!!
    Like (55)
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    The fact that the GOP doesn’t support this depicts their guilt of the big lie and it’s sad they have fallen so low. The party of lies, conspiracy theories, and against democracy need to crawl back under the rock they came out of. The former president is a crook and hopefully will be arrested soon. Many of his supporters that were part of the insurrection have also been arrested. I’m waiting for the GOP to fall as well. Gaetz is also a crook. Everyone the former scum of a president surrounded himself with seems to be criminals as well. The list is long.
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    I will work tirelessly to replace any representative or senators who does not fully investigate the Insurrection of 1/6 AND hold all accountable,
    Like (46)
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    @Azrael: Agree that if Congress does not investigate that a DOJ Special Investigator should be assigned. The Supreme Court’s Constitutional interpretation of Congress’s historical practices has found a Congressional investigation is the preferred way for investigational independence into matters requiring public accountability but if Congress refuses to execute its responsibilities than the only option left is DOJ Special Investigation, “ alternative solution to the challenge of conducting executive investigations, one that keeps in mind the dual goals of sufficient investigatory independence and sufficient public accountability. Rather than continued efforts to bureaucratize in- vestigations of the executive by entrusting them to career prosecutors, Congress should instead shoulder the primary responsibility for initiating investigations and conducting executive oversight. This role would be consistent with the Supreme Court’s constitutional interpretation and Congress’s own historical practice, and would help to insulate future investigations from the possibility of executive interference without infringing on the President’s con- stitutionally delegated authority over all members of the executive branch. Such an approach would also be the fastest way to bring misdeeds to light, thereby serving the public interest in disclosure and enhancing executive accountability at the ballot box.” https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3836&context=wmlr
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    The only reason to deny an investigation is because you are guilty
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    @ronald No… what a stupid thing to say. You’re telling me an attempted insurrection on the capital is a minor event but BLM riots (of which only 7% of the protesters rioted and Antifa isn’t an issue wtf) are major. You’re a partisan hack who clearly knows absolutely nothing about this stuff. The FBI under trump even said the biggest domestic terrorist threat right now is white supremacy (found on the right) and hate crimes relating to that. These aren’t opinions these are facts supported by data and evidence, skmethjng you clearly do not use.
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    Rick Wilson had an absolutely BLAZING series of tweets regarding the need to go ahead with this commission WITHOUT the GOP......he's spot on.
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    I wanna say yea, just because more information won’t hurt us, especially in a case like this. But we already have enough information to know where to place blame, and that is squarely on Donald Trump. I would not be surprised if this commission finds that he had boots on the ground that day that encouraged, organized and participated in this attack against our democracy. Personally I’d love to know about the trail of likely evidence that leads all the way up to the trump campaign and even direct intervention from trump himself. Let’s do it!
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    @Beverly! Your statement is a false Equivalence. As much as you’d like to believe that both are the same they in fact are not. If you cannot see the difference might be time for some self education.
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    What a waste of energy, time, and money. Jan 6th has become the most overblown non-event in recent memory. Don't @ me. The Capitol belongs to the people and the guards just et people in. Yeah, there were idiots in the crowd. But there were more fake MAGA causing trouble than actual MAGA folks. Again, don't @ me.
    Like (23)
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    The public has the right to know how much trump and other republicans participated in the insurrection on January 6, 2021, another date that will live in infamy. Rude Rudi G must also be investigated for his involvement along with the trump’s crime family.
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    There is never a truly "bipartisan" anything in DC. Jan 6 was a minor event. The BLM, Antifa riots in DC, and many places were, and are a Major issue.
    Like (22)
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    Our Republican leaders must support an independent investigation of the Jan 6. This is not an area to politicize. We must know the facts and prevent it from happening again.
    Like (20)
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    A violent insurrection instigated by a delusional loser who promoted crazy conspiracy theories and lies that lead to deaths of our brave men in blue who were doing their job protecting the people’s Capitol building, a civilian, and jeopardized the safety of people doing their jobs inside, why in the hell would we not?! Ask Kevin McCarthy, what is he afraid of?
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    I can fathom only one reason someone would object to this. Guilt. The American people deserve to see those who played a hostile role in the insurrection on January 6, be fully investigated and then prosecuted (if the evidence is there) to the fullest extent of Federal law for any and all crimes they committed.
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    Hell yes. “My Kevin” and the other crooked republicans once again pulled the trick of pretending to negotiate to stall. And then said no way. Liar liar pants on fire. But the dems have to remember “fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Don’t EVER trust them!
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