The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the creation of a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol incident in a vote that fell mainly along partisan lines.
Two Republicans joined all Democrats in creating the commission. They were Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), both frequent critics of former President Donald Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for months, has pushed for the creation of the commission, while House Republicans have rejected previous attempts to create such an investigative body and argued that Democrats are acting in a partisan manner.
“We cannot wait,” Pelosi said Wednesday on the floor. “We believe that Congress must in the spirit of bipartisanship and patriotism establish this commission. And it will be conducted with dignity with patriotism with respect for the American people, so that they can know the truth.”
Last month, Senate Republicans voted to block the creation of an outside commission that Pelosi had touted as bipartisan in nature.
Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), who voted to impeach Trump in January, helped broker the deal to create the previous commission but voted against the commission on Wednesday. Several other GOP representatives who backed Katko’s proposal earlier this year also voted against the select committee.
“Speaker Pelosi’s proposal to create a partisan committee of politicians to investigate the events of January 6th will not be viewed as credible by at least half of Americans, nor will it honestly look at her own failures in securing the U.S. Capitol on that day,” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said in a statement after the vote. “It’s not good enough, it won’t do the job and I am committed to exploring the truth. It’s what Southwest Washington deserves. I will oppose this partisan select committee and will not serve on it if asked.”
Cheney read a statement ahead of the vote and said Congress is obligated to investigate the incident, while again criticizing Trump. Several weeks ago, the Wyoming Republican lost her House leadership position and was replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) for the No. 3 Republican spot in the lower chamber.
“Since January 6th, the courage of my party’s leaders has faded. But the threat to our Republic has not. On an almost daily basis, Donald Trump repeats the same statements that provoked violence before,” Cheney said. “His attacks on our Constitution are accelerating. Our responsibility is to confront these threats, not appease and deflect.”
Trump has frequently denied he incited a group of people to breach the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was certifying the 2020 election results.
The committee was approved by a vote of 222 to 190.