Pelosi announces committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finalized plans to create a select committee to investigate January 6.
  • The Senate rejected a bipartisan bill to create an independent, 9/11-style January 6 commission.
  • “It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen,” she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formalized plans to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection on Thursday after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to establish an independent commission on the matter.

“This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I am announcing the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection,” Pelosi said in her weekly news conference. “Again, January 6 was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history…it is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen, and that we can root out the causes of it all.”

-The Recount (@therecount) June 24, 2021

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Her official announcement follows some confusion Wednesday night over whether she could establish a committee. After multiple outlets reported her plans to create a select committee, Pelosi said she was not ready to make an announcement, but she made the news official the next day on Thursday.

Senate Republicans on May 28 blocked the advancement of a bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly January 6 Capitol riot in a filibuster, the first legislative filibuster of President Joe Biden’s administration.

The bill to create an independent commission came out of a bipartisan agreement between Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and GOP ranking member Rep. John Katko and was passed by the US House with the support of 35 Republicans.

Like the 9/11 Commission, the proposal for the 10-member commission included the ability to issue subpoenas for relevant information on the insurrection. The group, made of independent experts, would have been tasked with producing a final report by December 31 with “findings regarding the facts and causes of the attack” and solutions to prevent attacks on the Capitol and other “democratic institutions.”

By contrast, a select committee made up of members of Congress is convened temporarily to investigate or study a particular matter. The select committee will include both a Democratic chair appointed by Pelosi and a Republican ranking member appointed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The many existing ongoing congressional investigations into the insurrection could end up being consolidated into the select committee’s work. Both House and Senate committees have held extensive hearings into the insurrection itself and the intelligence and security failures on the part of the law enforcement.