Rep. Norton Introduces Bill to Create Commission on U.S. Capitol Attack

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) Thursday introduced the National Commission on the Insurrectionist Attack Upon the Un
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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) Thursday introduced the National Commission on the Insurrectionist Attack Upon the United States Capitol Act, which would create a national commission to provide a complete account of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, including preparedness and response.

The commission would also present recommendations on how to protect our country from future attacks. The bill is modeled on the bipartisan legislation that created a commission to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“The country needed the 9/11 bill when we were attacked by foreign enemies,” Norton said. “My bill focusing on an attack from within – an insurrection – is just as necessary. The bipartisan national commission created by my bill would be above the fray of politics and give us clear, unbiased answers to what really happened on January 6th and how to prevent such attacks in the future.”

Norton’s introductory statement follows:

Madam Speaker.

Today, I rise to introduce the National Commission on the Insurrectionist Attack Upon the United States Capitol Act, which would create a national commission to provide a complete account surrounding the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, including preparedness and response.

The commission would also present recommendations on how to protect our country from future attacks. My bill is modeled on the bipartisan legislation that created a national commission to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

What happened on January 6, 2021, is no less grave, no less revealing than what happened to our country in 2001. In 2001, we realized that we were woefully unprepared for a foreign terrorist attack. The bipartisan national commission created by Congress conducted an unbiased investigation and helped us improve our defenses against international threats.

Now we are faced with another threat, but this one does not come from outside, it comes from within. The people who ransacked and defaced the U.S. Capitol, the people who threatened elected officials trying to fulfill their constitutional duty were not foreigners; they were Americans. In order to tackle this new internal threat to our democracy, we must understand it, and we cannot understand it without investigating how this attack on the U.S. Capitol occurred.

The commission created by my bill would draw upon all available evidence and prior investigations to generate a full and complete accounting of the circumstances of the attack and the country’s preparedness for and immediate response to the attack. This commission must be above the fray of politics to give us clear answers on what happened on January 6th. The American people deserve unbiased answers.

What happened is deeply personal for me and for many who live or grew up in the District of Columbia, where the U.S. Capitol is located. We all recognize the U.S. Capitol as a sacred symbol of democracy, but domestic terrorists came into my hometown and wreaked mayhem on our federal governing institutions. The commission would provide definitive answers to help Congress determine policies to ward off such attacks in the future.

I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.

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