National Security

Pelosi to offer even split on 9/11-style commission to probe Capitol riot

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has offered a plan for a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to review the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, backtracking from an earlier proposal that would have allowed Democrats to appoint the majority of the commission’s members.

A source familiar with the discussions told The Hill Pelosi briefed members of her leadership team on the proposal Monday night after efforts to create the commission stalled in the months following the attack.

Pelosi’s plans were first reported by CNN.  

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for such a commission in the wake of the attack that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

A similar commission established following the 9/11 terrorist attacks had five Democrats and five Republicans on a panel designed “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks.”

But the 11-member committee originally proposed by Pelosi in February would have allowed seven members to be appointed by Democrats compared to just four by Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) previously blasted Pelosi’s original draft.

“An inquiry with a hard-wired partisan slant would never be legitimate in the eyes of the American people. An undertaking that is uneven or unjust would not help our country,” McConnell said in February.

But clashes have also arisen over the scope of the committee.

Pelosi has sought to keep the commission narrowly focused on events leading up to the attack on Jan. 6, while the GOP has pushed to cover violent protests in general, echoing previous complaints about Black Lives Matter protestors.

McConnell’s office said he had yet to see Pelosi’s proposal.

“The scope of it needs to deal with a little bit broader than just January the 6th. We’ve also had a number of violent disturbances around the country last year and I think we ought to look at this in a broader scope and with a totally balanced 9/11 style commission,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. 

Calls to establish a commission have only grown amid the delay. A coalition of 140 national security leaders who served under Democratic and Republican administrations sent a letter to lawmakers earlier this month seeking to reignite the discussion. 

“The events of January 6th exposed severe vulnerabilities in the nation’s preparedness for preventing and responding to domestic terrorist attacks. The immediate security failings that permitted a lethal breach of the Capitol Complex by armed extremists raise serious questions and demand immediate solutions,” they wrote.

“Understanding how these forces culminated in an attack on the infrastructure of our democracy is critical to preventing future attacks.”

Tags 9/11 Commission Capitol breach Capitol Riots Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi
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