Arizona delegation splits on Jan. 6 riot investigation

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., stands on a chair as lawmakers prepare to evacuate the floor as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington./House of Representatives

By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

Arizona’s House delegation voted along party lines on Wednesday to create a Democratic-dominated panel to examine the origins of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The measure passed 222-190 with notably less backing from Republicans than a proposal in May to create a bipartisan commission. The initial idea stalled when Senate Republicans blocked a vote on it using the filibuster.

Instead, the House of Representatives will form a 13-member committee, with eight of its members picked solely by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. It is an alternative Pelosi and Democrats hoped to avoid as they called for understanding and accountability over the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol.

In May, 35 Republicans voted to create the bipartisan commission. On Wednesday, only two, Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., voted to do so.

The panel’s task will be to examine the facts and causes of an event described by the House as a “domestic terrorist attack,” from how social media helped bring together those who attacked the Capitol to how law enforcement failed to prepare for the assault. 

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