Lawmakers propose draft bill to create Capitol riot commission

Congressional leaders are discussing draft legislation for a bipartisan commission that would investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, with the latest proposal giving Democrats more sway over its membership.

According to a senior Democratic aide, a draft bill under discussion would allow each of the four top House and Senate leaders of each party to appoint two members. President BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE would also choose three additional members, including the commission's chair.

That would give Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals Senate investigation of insurrection falls short Ocasio-Cortez: 'Old way of politics' influences Manchin's thinking MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIt's not just Manchin: No electoral mandate stalls Democrats' leftist agenda DOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas MORE (D-N.Y.) and Biden the ability to choose a total of seven members, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhat the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Schumer bemoans number of Republicans who believe Trump will be reinstated: 'A glaring warning' MORE (R-Calif.) would choose a total of four members.


A report on the Jan. 6 insurrection by the commission would be due by the end of 2021, with the commission set to end 60 days after the report is issued.

The idea of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection by a mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE's supporters has support in both parties, which have cited the 9/11 commission as a template.

The leaders of the 9/11 commission, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean (R) and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), have urged Biden and lawmakers to establish a similar independent and bipartisan commission to account for what led to the Jan. 6 riot and to make recommendations for corrective action.

But unlike the draft legislation currently under discussion, the 10 members of the 9/11 commission were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans, meanwhile, have been calling for a commission that is evenly split by party.

Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Capitol Police Board signals resistance to reform McCarthy says that he will not support bipartisan deal for Jan. 6 commission MORE (Ill.), the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, introduced legislation last month that would establish a commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 with a similar makeup as the 9/11 commission, with five Republicans and five Democrats.


Under Davis's bill, the top four House and Senate leaders of both parties would each appoint two members. Biden would appoint a member to serve as the commission's chair, while McConnell would choose a member to serve as vice chair.

In addition, the commission would have 18 months to issue a report under Davis's proposal.

Pelosi also said last week that she thinks the commission should have subpoena power.

"There is really strong support in the country for us to have — seek the truth, find the truth but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest," Pelosi told reporters.

In the meantime, House and Senate committees are set to hold hearings this week with current and former Capitol security officials to discuss the events of Jan. 6 and its aftermath.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, who all resigned following the Jan. 6 riot, will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman and Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett will then appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday.