US House backs commission on deadly Capitol siege – but it’s uncertain it will pass Senate

US

The US House of Representatives has voted for an independent commission on the violent siege on the Capitol building.

Modelled on the investigation into the 9/11 attacks, Democrats say the legislation would help provide a reckoning on what happened on 6 January.

But it will still need to be voted on in the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future as numerous Republicans have rallied against the bipartisan investigation.

Pro-Trump protesters storm the US Capitol during the rally
Image:
Pro-Trump protesters storm the US Capitol during the rally

Five people – including a Capitol Police officer – died when a violent mob of Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol in response to President Joe Biden‘s election victory.

The insurrection has become a fraught topic for Republicans as many have not wanted to distance themselves from former president Donald Trump.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is a strong opposer of the legislation, along with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, with both claiming the bill was partisan.

A handful of Republicans have come out in support of the legislation, including New York Representative John Katko.

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“This is about facts – it’s not partisan politics,” he said, adding that action should be taken to “ensure that nothing like this ever happens again”.

The legislation would establish an independent 10-member commission – made up equally of Democrats and Republicans – to make recommendations for securing the Capitol and preventing another insurrection.

Donald Trump's supporters launched the attack on 6 January
Image:
Donald Trump’s supporters launched the attack on 6 January

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Officer crushed in door as mob storm Capitol

At least 60 votes are needed to advance most bills through the Senate, which is currently 50-50 and controlled by Democrats only because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes.

Several Democrats have shared their own memories of the insurrection in a bid to convince Republicans to vote for the bill.

Politicians were sent running during the siege as rioters beat police officers and broke in through windows and doors.

“We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol Police with lead pipes across the head, and we can’t get bipartisanship? What else has to happen in this country?” Democratic Representative Tim Ryan shouted on the floor just before the House vote.

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