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Pelosi mulling whether to form House committee to investigate Jan. 6 attack

A bill that would have established a bipartisan commission passed the House last month, but it was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Image: Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly Media Availability
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly media availability on Capitol Hill, on June 17, 2021.Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is considering whether to form a House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot after Republicans blocked legislation to create a bipartisan panel.

Pelosi informed the House Democratic Steering and Policy committee of her thinking Tuesday evening, stressing the importance study the attack, which left several dead and dozens injured.

The exact timing of when this will begin remains unclear, a source told NBC News. There was initial confusion as to whether Pelosi was moving to form the committee or mulling the possibility. Drew Hammill, the speaker's deputy chief of staff, clarified her position in a tweet Tuesday evening, saying Pelosi plans to announce her decision this week.

"Her preference continues to be a bipartisan commission which Senate Republicans are blocking," Hammill said.

Senate Republicans blocked House-passed legislation in May that would have established a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. Fifty-four senators voted in favor and 35 opposed, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed.

The bill passed the House in late May by a vote of 252-175, with 35 Republicans in favor. It was negotiated by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the top Democrat and Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Democrats have pushed for an investigation while Republicans have argued it would be a political process that could potentially damage them in the midterm election and provide no new insights beyond the existing inquiries by the Justice Department and the FBI.

Pelosi, however, told her conference earlier this month that forming a select committee was one of the options on the table after Republicans blocked the legislation.

Democrats have raised concerns Republicans may stack a select committee with allies of former President Donald Trump, such as GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio or Matt Gaetz of Florida.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also signaled earlier this month that he would use his power to “force the Senate to vote on the bill again at the appropriate time.”