May 19, 2021

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson Votes Establish Independent, Bipartisan Commission Regarding January 6 Attacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), voted to pass H.R. 3233, legislation to establish an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6.  The Commission would also be charged with making recommendations to prevent future attacks.

“This was an important vote with bipartisan support,” Rep. Lawson said. “January 6 was more than just an attack on our Capitol – it was an assault on our democracy. Members and staff had to barricade themselves in their offices for safety — scared of what could happen next. With this Commission, we are investigating deeper into the attacks and honoring the Capitol Police who put their lives on the line to protect us. Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option.”

The storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 threatened the lives of Members of Congress, staff, workers and D.C. and Capitol Police – resulting in five deaths and more than 140 injuries to law enforcement officers. In the wake of the worst attack on our Capitol, since the British set the Capitol on fire in 1814, many unanswered questions remain.

Bipartisan leadership of the House Homeland Security Committee worked to reach an agreement on an independent and impartial commission to investigate the attack and recommend improvements to Capitol security.  This Commission closely mirrors the 9/11 Commission and has the endorsement of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Chairs, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton. 

“I thought H.R. 3233 would be supported by all Members of Congress, but I was disappointed to see the outcome of the vote,” Rep. Lawson said. “Everyone should be concerned about how we can correct this situation so an attack like this never happens again. We need to be able to come together, lay politics aside and do what’s in the best interest our nation. 

The Commission will have ten members: five members, including the Chair, appointed by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate; and five, including the Vice Chair, appointed by the Minority Leaders of the House and Senate.  Commissioners must be experts in law enforcement, civil rights and liberties, law, intelligence or cybersecurity and will be tasked with investigating the facts of the January 6th attack, including the insurrectionists’ operations and motivations as well as the response by local law enforcement and intelligence agencies.