House Chairman Nancy Pelosi’s push for a bipartite commission to investigate the attack of the US Capitol on 6 January is threatened by House Democrats turning their committees into the possibility of a fallback, with an elusive bipartisan path to an autonomous panel.
On Thursday, nine Democrats, who preside over the Houses of Committees, sent letters to over a dozen federal and local authorities, initiating a major investigation into the Capitol insurrection. House Democrats also say that they continue to pursue the establishment of an independent committee – but private Democratic legislators and support workers tell CNN that progress in the congressional trial is still the clearest sign yet of a committee agreement.
“I think it’s close to dead,” one Democratic member said.
Last month, Pelosi announced that she wanted to lead an independent panel modeled on the 9/11 Commission to get to the bottom of what was on January 6, but partisan feuds about what it is going to do and what it is going to investigate.
The two sides blame each another for the stand-off, and while discussions are not yet dead, the first dispute about the scope of the commission’s action has yet to pass, particularly the role of former President Donald Trump, whose supporters assaulted the Capitol. His frustration with lack of progress was expressed by Pelosi herself. The Republicans were accused of being reluctant to tackle the question of the investigation.
“I’m optimistic,” the California Democrat said before correcting herself. “I’m persistent, in terms of, we have get to the truth now.”
But the talks on the matter have found their way to a stop for the little communication between both sides, both Republicans and Democrats involved at the negotiation. Although Pelosi has not agreed on 50 to 50 partisans, she argues that the real issue is that GOP is unwilling to concentrate the investigation especially on what led to insurrection. Republican leaders have argued that the topic of investigation is political violence in general.
“We have to find the truth. And we’re not walking away from that,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “Now, we’d love it to be as bipartisan as possible. But we have other, shall we say, paths, should there not come — we can’t come to something that would be similar to the 9/11 Commission.”
Parliament Democrats were always planning to use their committee structure to study the insurrection; Pelosi proposed to provide a final accounting of the riot for the idea of an independent committee. Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy of California and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Minority Leader, initially expressed openness to it but refused when Pelosi floated the proposal with Democrats appointing just four members.
The stalemate was even greater when two GOP leaders suggested that the protests should be included in political groups like Antifa and the violence around Black Lives last year.
The Republicans still say they want the committee, and say that the compromise is needed by Pelosi. McCarthy said the Commission must have equal membership and must not start with any established findings at his news conference last week. Republicans who attacked Pelosi’s appointment to retire Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré in the wake of the January 6 attack to review Capitol Security note that the chancellor insisted that the Hurricane 2005 be investigated by a two-party commission.