Two House Republicans from Michigan break ranks to support commission on Jan. 6 insurrection

May 20, 2021 at 11:10 am
click to enlarge Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. - Alex Gakos /
Alex Gakos /
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

U.S. Reps. Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, of Michigan, were among 35 House Republicans who broke ranks Wednesday to support the creation of an independent commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The bill passed the House 252-175, with four-fifths of Republicans opposed.

Meijer, one of just 10 Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump in January, said the commission is crucial to “confronting” the assault on democracy and fully understanding what happened.

“The imperative to have a public, objective, fact-based investigation of the Capitol attack is not a partisan issue and should never be treated as such,” Meijer said on the floor before the vote. “A violent mob breached this building to disrupt the lawful presidential transition and threaten the lives of Vice President Pence and members of congress. That this mob attacked the capitol with the encouragement of prominent elected officials is a chilling reminder of President Reagan’s warning that ‘freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.’”

Under the bill, the commission "will be charged with studying the facts and circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as well as the influencing factors that may have provoked the attack on our democracy" and would have the authority to issue subpoenas.

The fate of the legislation now belongs to the Senate, which needs support from at least 10 Republicans to pass. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he opposes the bill, claiming it’s partisan, even though the 10-member commission would be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

Meijer lamented "the active efforts" of some Republicans to “whitewash and rewrite the shameful events of that day, avoid accountability, and turn away from difficult truths.”

“If we avoid confronting what happened here just a few short months ago, we can be sure intimidation, coercion, and violence will become a defining feature of politics,” Meijer said.

The Michigan House Republicans who opposed the bill were Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, Tim Walberg, and Lisa McClain.

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