U.S. lawmakers agree on bipartisan panel to probe Jan. 6 attack

FILE PHOTO: Security fences, erected following the January 6th attack, are seen surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The top Democrat and Republican on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee have reached a deal to push forward with a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 storming of U.S. Capitol, the lawmakers said on Friday.

In a statement, Democratic chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking member John Katko said they would introduce legislation for consideration before the House as soon as next week to set up the investigative panel modeled after the one used to probe the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that…we need an independent commission to investigate,” Thompson said in a statement. “Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the agreement, calling the attack “one of the darkest days in our history” and adding that the House would also move forward soon on an emergency spending measure to boost security at the complex.

“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack,” she said in a statement.

Like the Sept. 11 panel, the proposed 10-member panel would have five commissioners appointed by each party as well as subpoena authority. Its report and “recommendations to prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions” would be due by Dec. 31, the lawmakers said.

The agreement paves the way for the panel’s creation after both parties disagreed over the scope of the investigation.

Both the House and the Senate would have to approve the bill, which would then go to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

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