35 Republicans Back Jan. 6 Probe

House sends plan for bipartisan commission to Senate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2021 6:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – Thirty-five House Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday in voting to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, risking the wrath of former President Trump and flouting GOP leaders who condemned the proposal as unfairly partisan and unnecessary. The mavericks were led by New York Rep. John Katko, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. He was battling two tides that have overwhelmed Congress in recent years, the AP reports: the nearly overwhelming potency Trump still has among Republicans and a jagged-edged partisanship that often confounds even mundane legislation. Katko said the commission is needed to understand how the riot happened and what security improvements the Capitol needs to prevent another. "I encourage all members, Republicans and Democrats alike, to put down their swords for once, just for once, and support this bill," he said. The House vote was 252-175.

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The plan's prospects in the Senate were hurt earlier in the day when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out against it, per the Washington Post. The bill would need at least 10 Republican votes to pass on that side. "It's not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could actually lay on top of existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress," McConnell told the Senate. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also opposed the plan. Both called the proposal partisan, though it was put together by members of both parties on Homeland Security. Rep. Greg Pence, who hid in an office with his brother, former Vice President Mike Pence, during the Jan. 6 riot, issued a critical statement Wednesday. "Hanging Judge Nancy Pelosi is hellbent on pushing her version of partisan justice complete with a handpicked jury," he said.

(Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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