Legislation passed for independent commission to probe US Capitol riot

The US House of Representatives voted to pass a legislation to create an independent commission to probe the January 6 Capitol riot, that resulted in five deaths.

The bill passed on Wednesday mostly along party lines, with 35 defected Republicans joining 217 Democrats in supporting the creation of the investigative panel modelled after the 9/11 Commission, reports Xinhua news agency.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, where the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said he opposed the measure, casting further doubt over it becoming law, which will require at least 10 party Senators to sign on to it so as to overcome the filibuster.

Under the bill, which was negotiated by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and its Republican ranking member, John Katko of New York, the commission will comprise 10 members who are not sitting members of Congress.

Half of the commissioners, including the chair, will be appointed by congressional Democratic leaders.

The other half, including the vice chair, will be selected by GOP leaders.

The panel will have co-equal subpoena power, meaning subpoenas can be issued either when they are signed off by both the chair and vice chair or on a vote by a majority of the members.

The commission is tasked with delivering a final report by the end of the year on its findings about what happened on January 6, when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

The report is also expected to offer recommendations for preventing similar insurrections from happening again.