Senate

Former DHS secretaries call on Senate to approve Jan. 6 commission

Supporters of then-President Trump storm the Capitol on Jan. 6
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Four former Homeland Security secretaries on Thursday urged the Senate to approve an independent commission to investigate the Capitol riots of Jan. 6 as Republicans appear poised to block the creation of such a panel.

Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, who served in the George W. Bush administration, and Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, who led the Department of Homeland Security under then-President Obama, called on the Senate to “put politics aside and create a bipartisan, independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.”

“We must understand how the violent insurrection at the Capitol came together to ensure the peaceful transfer of power in our country is never so threatened again,” they said in a statement organized by the nonprofit group Protect Democracy.

Barring last minute changes, only a few Republicans are expected to back a bill to establish a commission to probe the Capitol insurrection. The bill must get 60 votes in the Senate to pass, meaning at least 10 Republican senators would have to support the legislation, which already passed the House.

Two Republicans have said they will support the bill: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah), both of whom voted to convict former President Trump for inciting the riot on Jan. 6 with his false and incendiary claims about the 2020 election.

But most of the 50-member GOP caucus has raised a myriad of objections to the bill, arguing that the commission would be politicized and raising concerns about how the staff would be hired and that it would spill past its end-of-the-year cutoff date.

The House bill, negotiated by a bipartisan duo, mirrors the language on staffing included in the 9/11 commission.

Tags Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Donald Trump Jan. 6 capitol riot Janet Napolitano January 6 commission Jeh Johnson Lisa Murkowski Michael Chertoff Mitt Romney Tom Ridge

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