Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet this morning with a group of House committee chairs, including Homeland Security Committee Chair and Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, to discuss House Democrats’ next move on investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
House Democrats passed a bill last month with support from 35 Republicans, including Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest, calling for creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadliest attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812. However, the bill was blocked by Senate Republicans, including Mississippi Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith. The final 54 to 35 Senate vote fell six votes shy of the 60 votes needed to prevent a procedural filibuster.
The unsuccessful bill, modeled after the commission that studied the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was the result of bipartisan negotiations between Thompson and the Homeland Security Committee’s Republican ranking member, Rep. John Katko of New York.
The commission would have been composed of 10 members, with both parties appointing half of them. Proponents of the commission said it was necessary for Congress to acquire a full understanding of the riot.
As reported by Punchbowl News, Pelosi will meet with Thompson and other House chairs on Tuesday to decide how to proceed. House Democrats have several options: They could amend the original commission bill to include changes sought by Senate Republicans and send it back to the Senate for another vote; create a select committee; let the standing committees do their own investigations; or appoint one committee chair to take the lead.
Thompson has suggested to Pelosi that his panel should take the lead in the probe, although he’s happy to serve in whatever role the Speaker chooses.
“If I’m offered it (running the investigation), I will. If I’m offered to be on the select committee, I’ll serve,” Thompson said in an interview with Punchbowl on Monday night. “My preference is to get the commission done… It’s her call. I have indicated my interest in participation in whatever it is.”