Republicans demand equal representation on 1/6 Commission

Source: Politico | February 22, 2021 | Heather Caygle and Kyle Cheney

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Republican counterparts remain at odds over several issues, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks.

Senior House lawmakers are battling over the contours of a panel inspired by the 9/11 Commission to investigate the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, with Republicans demanding equal representation.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Republican counterparts have already traded one offer each but still remain at odds over several issues including membership on the proposed commission, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. Pelosi, who’s vowed to quickly take up legislation creating the commission, proposed tilting the panel in favor of Democrats, with her party getting to pick seven of the members while Republican leaders choose four additional appointees.

But Republicans are insisting on an equal split — each party gets to appoint five members — in their counteroffer, sources told POLITICO. Republicans also are pressing Democrats to avoid specifically prescribing avenues of inquiry that might steer the panel in certain directions, as opposed to allowing panelists to determine their own course.

In fact, members of the former 9/11 Commission — several of whom have consulted with Pelosi — cited that even partisan split as the reason for their success as they advised Pelosi on this year’s insurrection commission. Their willingness to take bipartisan ownership of the direction of the investigation, without an edge for either party, helped ensure the commission’s credibility in the eyes of the public, they said. For a review of the Jan. 6 riot to be credible, the former commissioners said, it must similarly be seen as independent and unbiased, rather than a tool of either party.

“There is really strong support in the country for us to seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest,” Pelosi told reporters late last week.

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