House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, “with great solemnity and sadness,” that she will establish a select committee to investigate the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, in the wake of the Senate blocking a bipartisan commission to probe the matter last month.
The California Democrat said she would have preferred to move forward with a bipartisan commission, but due to the lack of support from Republicans in the upper chamber felt it was necessary to launch the probe.
“With great solemnity and sadness, I’m announcing the House will be establishing a Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection,” she told reporters at a press conference on Thursday morning.
“On that day, our temple of democracy was attacked by insurrectionists. That trauma is something I can never forget or forgive.”
Pelosi was vague on the details on the makeup of the committee, but said she will release additional information in coming days, adding that the timeline for the panel to release its findings will be “as long as it takes.”
Pelosi said the committee will be tasked with rooting out “the causes of it” and providing recommendations to prevent similar instances in the future.
While the House passed an agreement struck between Homeland Security and Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) in a 252-175 vote in May, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the measure, it was ultimately halted in the upper chamber, failing to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster.
The House-passed version would have allowed for each party to select five commissioners with expertise in national security and law enforcement to look into the security shortcomings that allowed a mob of pro-Trump rioters to breach the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the election results.
Top Republicans including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have pushed back on both the bipartisan agreement and the formation of a select committee — which is similar to the panel established by House Republicans to investigate Benghazi — alleging that Pelosi is politicizing the attack.
“When it comes to what happened on Jan. 6, we want to get to the bottom of that. It’s disgusting what transpired that day,” McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the speaker has always played politics with this. Time and again. She’s never once talked to me about it.”
But some Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was booted from her leadership post following criticisms of former President Donald Trump’s role in the siege on the Capitol, have said they feel that Congress needs to further investigate the attack.
“I think it’s really important for us to make sure that we have a full investigation into what happened on Jan. 6. I think we should have passed a bipartisan commission. Since that didn’t happen, I think it’s very important for us to have something else so I haven’t heard the details yet of her proposal, but I think, you know, this was the worst attack of the Capitol since 1814 and we have to have an investigation,” Cheney told reporters on Tuesday, when talk of a Select Committee began to emerge.
It’s unclear if Republicans will opt to participate in the committee.