House Democrats establish select panel to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather at the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/TNS)
Caption
Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather at the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House has moved forward with plans for a Democratic-led select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Wednesday’s vote on the bill establishing the House committee came one month after Senate Republicans blocked a previous attempt to form an independent bipartisan commission.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee who may be tapped to lead the new panel, said the select committee came only after Democrats spent months attempting to reach agreement with Republicans.

“Now that Senate Republicans have chosen to block the formation of an independent commission, it falls to the House to state a course and get the American people the answers they deserve,” the Mississippi Democrat said.

Two Republican representatives — Wyoming’s Liz Cheney and Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger — voted with Democrats in approving the measure. The final vote was 222-190.

Georgia’s delegation split along party lines, with U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter absent for the vote.

The select committee will not need Senate approval and can get started right away.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have final say over all 13 members selected for the panel, although House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy can provide input on up to five of them. Pelosi has said she is also open to choosing a Republican to fill one of the eight seats under her total control.

While voting was taking place, Pelosi, Cheney and other lawmakers went to the visitors gallery and spoke with U.S. Capitol Police officers and the mother of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died shortly after the riot.

Republicans have already expressed skepticism about the select committee, saying they fear Democrats will use the platform to make partisan attacks. Democrats had similar criticism about the Republican-led select committee created after the Benghazi terrorism incident.

HOW THEY VOTED

On H.Res. 503, creating a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol

“Yes”

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Suwanee

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta

“No”

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Evans

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton

Did not vote

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler

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