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Pelosi introduces bill to set up January 6 select committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation to establish a select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Under the bill, she would appoint eight members of the committee and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would appoint five.

However, an aide to the House speaker said that she “is seriously considering including a Republican among her eight appointments.” If Pelosi were to appoint a Republican, the partisan division of the committee would instead be seven Democrats and six Republicans.

A vote on the bill is slated to be held on Wednesday. So far, it appears that the select committee has less bipartisan support than the bipartisan commission that was originally proposed — 35 House Republicans voted in favor of a commission, but the Republicans in the Senate blocked it. 

Two House Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump said they would vote “no” on the resolution to establish a select committee on the events of January 6. 

“I want something the American people can believe and find credible,” said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler. “The only way to do that I believe is a 9/11 style commission, which I voted for.” 

One objection she raised to the select committee was that it would be composed of sitting members of Congress, rather than former lawmakers.

Congressman John Katko, who helped broker the January 6 commission agreement in the House, said he was “very disappointed” and opined that it would not be a balanced committee. He compared it to the Benghazi select committee, which was created by House Republicans to probe the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, “which got nowhere,” Katko said.

Representative Peter Meijer, another member who voted for impeachment, said he still has to review the resolution’s text, but he fears this committee would not be viewed as “accepted and credible,” in part because of the departure from the even 50-50 partisan split of the 9/11 Commission. When asked if he’d serve on a January 6 select committee if asked by Pelosi, he responded, “I honestly don’t know.”

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who also supported the formation of a January 6 commission and has been a vocal critic of former President Trump, indicated that he’d be open to serving on a select committee. A spokesperson for Kinzinger said in a statement: “The Congressman has said that he thinks a bipartisan approach is required to have a full accounting of what happened and who played a part in the insurrection at the Capitol Complex on January 6. He does not want an investigation to turn political; he just wants to get to the truth and for the American people to have full transparency. That being said, our party blocked that first opportunity and now we need answers. Whether Congressman Kinzinger serves on the Select Committee is up to Speaker Pelosi.”

The legislation setting up the select committee does not include specific timeline for it to release its findings. Pelosi said last week that “the timetable will be as long as it takes.” The bipartisan commission, however, would have been required to submit its findings by the end of the year.

Aaron Navarro and Nikole Killion contributed to this report.



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