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Pelosi Rules Out Presidential Commission on Capitol Attack

She says it's 'not a workable idea in this circumstance'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2021 6:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ruling out a presidential commission to study the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, telling House Democrats on Tuesday that having President Biden appoint a panel is unworkable even after the Senate blocked an independent probe last week. Pelosi laid out possible next steps after Friday’s Senate vote, in which Senate Republicans blocked legislation to create an independent, bipartisan panel to investigate the siege by former President Trump’s supporters, the AP reports. She proposed four options for an investigation of the attack, according to a person on the private Democratic caucus call who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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  • The first option, Pelosi said, is to give the Senate another chance to vote on the commission. Six Republicans voted with Democrats to move forward with the bill, and a seventh missed the vote but said he would have backed it. That means Democrats would only need support from three additional Republicans to reach the 60 votes needed for passage. The commission would be modeled after a highly respected panel that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • The other options involve the House investigating the attack, meaning the probes would be inherently partisan. Pelosi suggested that she could appoint a new select committee to investigate the siege or give the responsibility to a single committee, like the House Homeland Security panel, which wrote the original bipartisan bill to create the commission. Alternately, Pelosi said committees could simply push ahead with the investigations that are already underway.
  • But the speaker said she believed a commission appointed by Biden—an idea pitched by some in her caucus after Friday’s Senate vote—was "not a workable idea in this circumstance." It is unclear why she holds that view.

Pelosi’s comments come as members of both parties have pushed for a deep dive into the insurrection, which was designed to interrupt the presidential electoral count and was the worst attack on Congress in two centuries. The White House has not yet said whether Biden would appoint a commission without Congress.

(Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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