LIVE: House Debates, Then Votes on Jan. 6 Commission to Probe Capitol Riot

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: House Debates, Then Votes on Jan. 6 Commission to Probe Capitol Riot” – below is their description.

    (May 19) Watch live as the U.S. House begins debate on legislation creating a national commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Members will also consider a bill providing $1.9 billion for additional U.S. Capitol security.

    US House of Representatives meets for legislative business, with agenda including votes on ‘H.R. 3233 – National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act’ and ‘H.Res. 275 – Condemning the horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021, and reaffirming the House of Representative’s commitment to combating hate, bigotry, and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.’

    The House is poised to vote on a 9/11-style commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a first step toward creating an independent, bipartisan panel that would investigate the siege and try to prevent it from happening again.

    While the measure is expected to be approved Wednesday by the House, a commission will likely be a more difficult sell in the Senate. Republicans there are signaling that they will try to block — or at least slow down — the effort.

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he is “pushing the pause button” on the legislation to form the commission. While controlling the Senate, Democrats would need at least 10 GOP votes to pass the measure under Senate rules.

    McConnell told reporters that his caucus is “undecided” but willing to listen to arguments about “whether such a commission is needed.” He questioned whether the panel’s work would interfere with the hundreds of criminal cases stemming from the Jan. 6 attack, in which rioters brutally beat police, broke in through windows and doors and hunted for lawmakers as they fled. McConnell said he also wanted to read the “fine print” of the bill and ensure that both parties on the commission have an equal say.

    McConnell also questioned a separate $1.9 billion spending bill that the House is expected to pass this week for security upgrades. “We’re not sure what to spend the money on yet,” he said.

    McConnell’s hesitancy came hours after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said he would oppose the bill. The two leaders’ positions will almost certainly mean fewer Republicans will support the commission in both chambers, as most in the party are still loath to upset former President Donald Trump. He had encouraged his supporters to head to Capitol Hill that day to stop the counting of the electoral votes and overturn his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

    Trump released a statement Tuesday night urging Republicans against approving what he called a “Democrat trap.”

    The votes in the House and Senate will also expose divisions in the party, as some Republicans have said they think an independent review is necessary.

    In private GOP caucus meetings across the Capitol on Tuesday, members argued for and against the idea.

    Several Republican lawmakers joined McCarthy in speaking against the commission early Tuesday during a meeting of House Republicans, according to one Republican familiar with the private session who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss it. The Republican who negotiated the bill with Democrats, New York Rep. John Katko, argued in favor.

    “I recognize there are differing views on this issue, which is an inherent part of the legislative process and not something I take personally,” Katko said in a statement. “However, as the Republican Leader of the Homeland Security Committee, I feel a deep obligation to get the answers U.S. Capitol Police and Americans deserve and ensure an attack on the heart of our democracy never happens again.”

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