House votes to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection

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House votes to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a media availability at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Alex Brandon/AP
  • The House passed legislation to create a select committee to probe the January 6 insurrection.
  • Speaker Pelosi proposed the committee after Senate Republicans blocked an independent commission.
  • The select committee will made up of 13 members, five selected in consultation with Republicans.

The House voted Wednesday to pass legislation to create a partisan select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol.

The House approved the legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Resolution 503, by a vote of 222-190 with just two Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voting along with their Democratic colleagues to create the panel.

The committee will be made up of 13 members that Pelosi will select, with five selections made "in consultation" with Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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Pelosi's office has also indicated that one of her eight selections could be a Republican - potentially one of the 10 who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection, like Cheney or Kinzinger, neither of whom definitively committed to serving on the panel when asked by reporters.

Many Republicans had panned the select committee as overtly partisan and, in the case of other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, like Rep. John Katko of New York, expressed trepidation about whether they would serve on it. The eight other Republicans besides Cheney and Kinzinger who voted to impeach Trump ended up voting against the formation of the panel.

Read more: Trump Organization on trial: Here's what it would look like

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Pelosi announced she would move forward with a select committee after Senate Republicans filibustered bipartisan legislation that would have established an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the insurrection on May 28. The House previously passed legislation to create such a commission with the support of 35 Republicans.

"This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I am announcing the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection," Pelosi said in her June 24 news conference. "Again, January 6 was one of the darkest days in our nation's history...it is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen, and that we can root out the causes of it all."

The legislation to create the commission, drafted by Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and Katko, would have tasked 10 members, five each appointed by leaders of both parties, to produce a report on the insurrection by December 31, 2021.

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A select committee made up of members of Congress is convened temporarily to investigate or study a particular matter, like the high-profile House Select Committee formed in 2014 to that investigate the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

And unlike the proposal for the independent commission, the select committee will have to produce regular updates but doesn't have a set end date to complete its work. It's also unclear how the many existing ongoing congressional investigations into the insurrection will end up being consolidated into the select committee's work.

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