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35 House Republicans vote with Democrats to pass bill establishing Jan. 6 commission

The House of Representatives voted 252-175 on Wednesday to pass a bill to set up a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Why it matters: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy andGOP leadership oppose the commission, but 35 House Republicans voted in support of the bill, underscoring the fault lines within the party in the aftermath of the insurrection.


  • The amount of Republican support makes it far more difficult for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to try and dismiss the commission outright as a partisan effort.

What's next: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised the bill will get a vote, but it's still unclear how many Republicans will get on board.

  • McConnell told fellow Republicans Tuesday he could not support the agreement in its current form, two sources familiar with his remarks told Axios' Alayna Treene, and formally announced his opposition from the Senate floor on Wednesday.
  • 10 GOP senators are needed for the proposal to pass.

The creation of the commission has been delayed for months because Republicans have insisted its scope should be expanded to include violence by far-left protesters last summer after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

  • McCarthy (R-Calif.) has argued it would be "duplicative and potentially counterproductive" because Congress and the federal government are carrying out other investigations into the riot.
  • Many Republicans are concerned the bill will be weaponized to subpoena members and could alienate members of the GOP base, as well as former President Trump — who was impeached by the House for inciting the riot.

Catch up quick: House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced last week that negotiators had reached an agreement with Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) on the commission.

  • Katko is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the aftermath of Jan. 6.
  • It said the 10-person bipartisan commission "will be charged with studying the facts and circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as well as the influencing factors that may have provoked the attack on our democracy" and would have the authority to issue subpoenas.
  • Based on the legislation passed by the House, the commission will be required to issue a final report with findings and recommendations to "prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions" by Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Former President Trump, who was impeached by the House for inciting the riot, criticized the commission in a statement on Tuesday, and urged House and Senate Republicans to not support what he called a "Democrat trap."
  • House Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters the House would pursue a a select committee of some kind even if the commission does not pass the Senate.

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