Washington, DC — Today, the United States House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis to pass H.R. 3233, which would establish an independent bipartisan commission to comprehensively investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol Complex. The legislation was passed out of the House 252-175 with 35 Republican votes. It was co-sponsored by Representative Benny Thompson (D-MS) and Representative John Katko (R-NY). It moves next to the Senate.
We thank each of these representatives for their leadership in helping ensure that the country responds appropriately to the attacks of January 6th. As 140 former senior national security and elected officials wrote on the 3-month anniversary of the attack,
“The events of January 6th exposed severe vulnerabilities in the nation’s preparedness for preventing and responding to domestic terrorist attacks,” and a failure to establish a commission “to fully understand January 6th and address its causes will leave the Capitol, and the nation, vulnerable to future attacks.”
This bipartisan bill is a measured, thoughtful, and critical response to the attacks. To defuse partisanship, the Commission is structured to ensure it is a bipartisan endeavor: All reports must be agreed to by a majority of Commission members and the Commission may only issue subpoenas upon an agreement between the Chair and the Vice Chair or a vote by a majority of Commission members.
The Commission will build on the work that has begun in various congressional committees to gather information and hold hearings. It will neither interfere with nor duplicate those ongoing efforts nor will it delay immediate security upgrades to the Capitol Complex. It is designed to avoid interference with ongoing prosecutions.
Ian Bassin, Executive Director of Protect Democracy, issued the following statement:
“Today, the House took an important stand against normalizing a violent attack on the peaceful transfer of power. Now the Senate needs to do the same. By creating this Commission, Congress can assure the American people — and all who work in the Capitol Complex — that the January 6th attacks are thoroughly investigated outside of the pressured and partisan environment of Congress itself, and that recommendations will be made to prevent this from ever happening again.”