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Speaker Pelosi outside the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House negotiators have reached an agreement on the parameters of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the House Homeland Security Committee announced Friday.

Why it matters: The formation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission had been delayed for months, after some Republicans insisted that the scope of the investigation be expanded to include violence by far-left protesters last summer.

Details, according to the House Homeland Security Committee:

  • Legislation will establish a 10-person bipartisan commission. Five commissioners, including the chair, will be appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The other five, including the vice chair, will be appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • "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," according to the committee.
  • "Commissioners must have significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence and cybersecurity. Current government officers or employees are prohibited from appointment."
  • The commission will be granted authority to issue subpoenas, which will require agreement between the chair and the vice chair, or a vote by a majority of members.
  • The commission will be required to issue a final report with findings and recommendations to "prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions" by Dec. 31, 2021.

What to watch: The committee said legislation establishing the commission will be introduced on Friday and is expected to be considered by the House as soon as next week.

What they're saying: "Inaction — or just moving on — is simply not an option," House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who negotiated the deal with ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.), said in a statement.

  • The creation of this commission is our way of protecting the U.S. Capitol. After all, the Capitol is not just a historic landmark, it is where our constituents come to see their democracy in action."
  • "As such, we owe it to the Capitol police and all who enter our citadel of democracy to investigate the attack."

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Senate Dems vow to investigate "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez. Photo: Office of Sen. Bob Menendez

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday he would hold hearings into the "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal of Afghanistan.

Driving the news: Menendez, who blamed both the Biden and Trump administrations for the crisis unfolding in the Taliban-controlled country, is one of three top Democrats who head Senate committees who've vowed to investigate the Afghanistan crisis.

Aug 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Manchin and Sinema advising House centrists

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are privately advising the nine House centrist lawmakers trying to force Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a quick vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure deal, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The two moderates who've stirred the biggest frustrations and held the most sway in their party over the infrastructure negotiations are helping allies in the House to stake out — and defend — their centrist position.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of the Tonga volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could have contaminated.