Washington, DC – Today’s agreement on an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol reflects a core strength of our Congress and our nation. At our best, we face our faults, learn from our failures, make corrections, and heal together.
The Bipartisan Policy Center is encouraged that the agreement reflects the principles that 9-11 Commission chairs Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton commended to congressional leaders shortly after the attack. The commission must be bipartisan in makeup and structured to foster deliberation and collaboration. While it will be challenging to develop a consensus view on what occurred, a single narrative of the facts of that day and actionable recommendations for preventing them from recurring are the predicate for ensuring our democracy is respected and protected.
The agreement also calls for sufficient resources and powers—namely sufficient staff, subpoena powers, and appropriately timed funding—to carry out this work. We encourage Congress to re-examine the 6-month timeline currently allotted since a thorough investigation will likely require more time, as the experience of the 9-11 Commission bared out.
The assault on the Capitol—and our democracy—exponentially increased tensions that have further weakened an already brittle legislative process. Our nation continues to face dire challenges as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic and needs a functional and fully engaged legislature. It is our hope that a sober, unprejudiced investigation will help our leaders learn from the past and take responsibility for the future. We applaud the House and Senate committee and law enforcement investigations that have laid groundwork for an independent commission to begin its work, and House and Senate leaders for creating a process that has a real chance for success.
Read the February letter from BPC and 9-11 Commission chairs Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton.