WASHINGTON DC (Age-ncies): The White House formally backed a bill to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he won’t support the legislation.
In a statement of administrative policy released Tuesday, the White House called the Capitol attack “an unprecedented assault on our democracy, an effort to undo the will of the American people and threaten the peaceful transition of power.”
“While the federal government has already begun taking action to improve the safety and security of the U.S. Capitol, the administration supports the proposed bipartisan, independent national commission to study and investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol,” the statement read.
The support comes one day ahead of a House vote on the bipartisan legislation. Tuesday morning, McCarthy said in a statement that he wouldn’t support the bill, arguing it was too narrowly focused on the Jan. 6 attack, and that the commission should also look at left-leaning protests from over the summer and even the 2017 shooting at a Republican baseball practice. “The presence of this political violence in American society cannot be tolerated and it cannot be overlooked,” McCarthy wrote in his statement.
Under the bill, the commission would include 10 members with expertise in law enforcement and national security backgrounds, with each party appointing five lawmakers.
It’s a key diversion from one of the earliest proposals from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which would have created an 11-member committee with seven members appointed by Democrats compared to just four by Republicans.
The legislation also addresses another sticking point, allowing subpoenas when both the chair and vice chair of the commission agree or by vote of a majority of the commission’s members.
Proponents of the bill fear a failure to establish the commission would mean a failure to independently evaluate security lapses and prevent a repeat of the attack. “The nation deserves such a full and fair accounting to prevent future violence and strengthen the security and resilience of our democratic institutions,” the White House wrote.