Biden won't form his own commission to study Capitol riot, White House says

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The White House on Thursday shot down the idea of forming its own presidential commission to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, saying it is Congress’ “unique role” to carry out that investigation. 

Democrats all the way up to President Biden have expressed dismay that they did not score 10 Republican Senate votes to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to pass legislation to create a bipartisan Capitol riot commission. Some had suggested the president wrest power from Congress and form his own commission. 

“As the President has said, the events of January 6th were an unprecedented assault on our democracy – and he believes they deserve a full, and independent, investigation to determine what transpired and ensure it can never happen again,” Psaki said in a statement to Fox News. “Congress was attacked on that day, and President Biden firmly agrees with Speaker Pelosi that Congress itself has a unique role and ability to carry out that investigation. Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had already thrown cold water on the idea of handing the investigation to the White House, as Congress would still need to approve funding and subpoena power. 

On Wednesday Pelosi previewed four possible next steps after the commission bill failed in the Senate 54-35, according to the Associated Press. One would be to let the Senate vote again – six Republicans voted with Democrats for the commission and one who didn’t vote said he would have voted for it. 

Another would involve the House investigating the attack, which would be a partisan process. Pelosi reportedly told members of her caucus she could appoint a select committee to investigate the breach or give responsibility to a single committee, like the House Homeland Security panel. Or, Pelosi said committees already investigating the attack could push forward with their own probes. 

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