Exclusive: Biden opposes a presidential commission for Jan. 6
President Biden has decided against appointing his own commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and will instead increase pressure on Congress to establish a committee, White House officials tell Axios.
Why it matters: Some House Democrats suggested Biden create a presidential commission after Senate Republicans blocked the establishment of a bipartisan, independent panel. This decision signals his preference for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take the lead.
What they're saying: “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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tells Axios.
“Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission."
- "The events of Jan. 6 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."
Worth noting: Pelosi had already dismissed a presidential commission to study the Capitol insurrection, telling House Democrats earlier this week that Biden appointing such a panel would be "unworkable," per AP.
The big picture: Biden isn't letting any daylight between himself and Pelosi, who on Wednesday previewed potential options for how a commission can review the events that led up to insurrection, according to NBC News.
- They include holding a second Senate vote to try to force more members on the record and overcome the filibuster, or empowering the House Homeland Security Committee's chair and ranking members, Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and John Katko, R-N.Y., to take the lead.