House Makes Deal On Commission To Investigate Capitol Riot The panel would include 10 members, evenly split between Democratic and Republican appointees. It would have subpoena power and be required to issue a final report by Dec. 31.

House Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Deal On Panel To Investigate Jan. 6 Attack

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/996822835/996832485" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Four months after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, House lawmakers have reached a deal on a bipartisan commission to investigate that attack and recommend changes to make sure it doesn't happen again. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and the panel's top Republican, New York Congressman John Katko, announced the deal this morning. And they will introduce legislation modeled on the commission that was created after the September 11 attacks. NPR congressional reporter Claudia Grisales is with us with details. Claudia, thanks for being here.

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.

MARTIN: What's this commission going to look like? Who's going to be on it?

GRISALES: So this is going to be split evenly between individuals that will be appointed onto the commission by members of Congress. So it's going to be a 10-person, bipartisan commission with five commissioners, including the chair. They will be appointed by the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate - and five commissioners, including a vice chair who will be appointed by the minority leaders of the House and the Senate. This was one key point of negotiation between the parties. Republicans had said that it was not split evenly where they could appoint their members. And this was one area where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did address. However, there are other issues that they had to hammer out that got them to reach this deal today.

MARTIN: So let's talk about those. I mean, you mentioned they've now addressed the representation issue of both parties on the commission. But what else was - what else made this so complicated?

GRISALES: Yeah. So one issue that they were really stuck on was the scope of the commission. Pelosi has repeatedly said it needs to be focused on January 6. She's been joined by other Democrats and even some Republicans, like Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who was ousted from her leadership role this week. She is one of those Republicans who said it should be focused only on that day. And she was concerned that other Republicans who'd said it should not, that it should be expanded to the protests last year, to a Capitol attack that we saw several weeks ago with an individual who drove their car into one of the barricades at the Capitol. But they reached a deal today between the House, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee - this is Bennie Thompson, as you mentioned - and the ranking chair, this is John Katko of New York. We should note that Katko was one of the individuals who voted for former President Trump's impeachment.

MARTIN: And when you say they wanted to include the protests last year, you mean the protests that happened after George Floyd's murder?

GRISALES: Exactly, the racial justice protests. And a lot of Democrats and some of these Republicans say that does not fit into what we're looking to here. And so they're moving pretty quickly. This commission is going to have subpoena power. And they're going to have to wrap up a report very quickly by December 31 of this year.

MARTIN: So do we know what happens in the next couple of days? I mean, they've got to move fast. So is this thing going to take form quickly?

GRISALES: Exactly. So they believe that - the House members believe they can get this on the floor next week. It will be interesting to see how many Republicans vote for this. But it is expected to pass with Democratic support. However, we're not clear what's going to happen in the Senate, if they'll have enough Republicans who will sign on there.

MARTIN: All right. NPR congressional reporter Claudia Grisales. Thank you so much, Claudia. We appreciate it.

GRISALES: Thanks so much.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.