WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't giving up on an investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, telling Democrats on Tuesday that four options remain to launch a comprehensive review even after Republicans blocked such legislation last week.
During a conference call with members of the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi detailed options, including having the Senate vote a second time and trying to overcome the Republican filibuster, according to two sources who were on the call.
She shot down a suggestion raised by some House Democrats that President Joe Biden form a presidential commission, saying it wasn't a workable idea, one source on the call said.
A presidential commission would need Congress to grant subpoena power and allocate funding. Both chambers would have to vote to approve, which looks unlikely after the Senate Republicans' filibuster last week.
Republicans and Democrats remain divided about how Congress should move forward to examine the events that unfolded on Jan. 6, when a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol trying to derail the electoral vote count that cemented his re-election defeat.
Democrats have pushed for an investigation while Republicans have argued it would be a political process that would damage them in the midterm election and provide no new insights beyond the existing inquiries.
Pelosi listed four possibilities: The Senate could hold a second vote on the original bipartisan commission; Democrats in the House could create a select committee; the existing congressional committees could continue their separate investigations; or they could empower one existing committee such as the House Homeland Security Committee to take charge of the probe.
One source familiar with the discussion noted Democrats worry if a congressional select committee is formed, Republicans will stack it with Trump allies like Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio or Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Directing the Homeland Security Committee to lead the inquiry could be the most appealing option. The chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and ranking member, Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., negotiated the original Jan. 6 commission framework, which Katko voted in favor of. Katko voted to impeach Trump
On the call, Pelosi promised to continue talking to members to come to an agreement on next steps.
Last week, Senate Republicans blocked House-passed legislation that would establish a bipartisan independent commission to investigate Jan. 6. Fifty-four senators voted in favor and 35 opposed, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed.
After the vote Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a letter to his caucus, “Senators should rest assured that the events of January 6th will be investigated and that as Majority Leader, I reserve the right to force the Senate to vote on the bill again at the appropriate time.”