Rep. Connolly calls for Biden to create Jan. 6 commission
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) called for President Biden to create a commission to study the Jan. 6 insurrection after Senate Republicans this week defeated a bill to establish a bipartisan panel to examine the riot.
“In light of the GOP’s cowardly filibuster of a bipartisan January 6th Commission, I urge President Biden to form and appoint a Presidential Commission to fully investigate the insurrection at the United States Capitol, to identify the individuals and organizations who plotted or were involved in those violent acts, and to make recommendations to prevent such an attack from ever recurring,” Connolly, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, said in a statement Saturday.
Connolly’s push for a presidential commission comes after a majority of Senate Republicans opposed a bill that would form a bipartisan panel to probe the Jan. 6 attack.
Senators on Friday voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 60 votes that Democrats needed to get it over an initial hurdle.
While six Republicans voted with Democrats to proceed with the bill, several GOP senators said the investigation was better left to existing Senate committees and that a new commission could hurt them in the 2022 midterms.
“I do not believe the extraneous ‘commission’ that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing. Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor.
“That’s why the Speaker’s first draft began with a laughably rigged and partisan starting point and why the current language would still lock in significant unfairness under the hood,” he added on Thursday in reference to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The Senate GOP’s filibuster this week — its first of the new Congress — has infuriated Senate Democrats, who note that the original bill was adjusted to comply with Republicans’ requested changes and that the severity of the Jan. 6 insurrection demands a bipartisan probe.
“There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against the commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a prominent centrist, said after the vote failed.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Connolly’s statement.