Late Capitol Police officer's family urges Congress to agree to Jan. 6 commission

Late Capitol Police officer's family urges Congress to agree to Jan. 6 commission
© Greg Nash

The family of deceased Capitol police officer Howie Liebengood released a statement on Wednesday signaling their support for a Jan. 6 commission.

“We believe a thorough, non-partisan investigation into the root causes of and the response to the January 6th riot is essential for our nation to move forward. Howie’s death was an immediate outgrowth of those events,” Liebengood’s family said in a statement shared by Rep. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonLate Capitol Police officer's family urges Congress to agree to Jan. 6 commission Administration withdraws Trump-era proposal to loosen protections for transgender homeless people Trump the X-factor in Virginia governor race MORE (D-Va.).

“Every officer who worked that day, as well as their families, should have a better understanding of what happened," they added. "Uncovering the facts will help our nation heal and may lessen the lingering emotional bitterness that has divided our country. We implore Congress to work as one and establish the proposed Commission."

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The House is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday.

Officer Liebengood committed suicide just days after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, during which he was on duty. He is survived by his wife and siblings.

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"Additionally, improved mental health for [U.S. Capitol Police] officers has been one of our goals for the past four months. Through the tireless efforts of Congresswoman Wexton, we are honored a wellness program bearing Howie's name has been proposed in the security supplemental along with more resources for the program,” Liebengood’s family said.

Republican congressional leaders have spoken against the proposed commission. On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines Has Trump beaten the system? MORE (R-Ky.) came out against the proposal, saying he had decided "to oppose the House Democrats slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of Jan. 6."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines Has Trump beaten the system? MORE (R-Calif.) has also expressed his opposition to the commission.

“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker's shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” McCarthy said on Tuesday.