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.
Rep. Torres gave the following remarks on the House Floor:
“When I was sworn in the week of January 6th, I never imagined living through an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol during the electoral college vote count. On January 6th, I felt the same sense of shock and trauma that I had felt on 9/11. Like most of America, I took for granted that the peaceful transfer of power is so natural as to transcend even the most turbulent period of partisan politics. I was wrong. We were all wrong. Democracy is too fragile to be taken for granted. It demands from all of us a vigilant defense.
As Members of the United States Congress, we took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. The insurrection against the U.S. Capitol was a literal and metaphorical assault on the very Constitution we have been charged with defending. The January 6th Commission is therefore not a choice but an obligation.
We have a duty to investigate what happened and why it happened, and whois responsible.
As a Congress, if we are not able or willing to ascertain the full truth surrounding an invasion of our very home, of our nation’s Capital, then why are we here? The 11th hour attempt to sabotage a bipartisan bicameral commission is not a difference of opinion nor is it politics as usual, it is an abdication of the oath we took to uphold the Constitution.
The United States of America is not a cult of personality. It is a nation of laws. And our loyalty should not be to one political figure or one political party. Our highest loyalty should be to our country and to the Constitution that governs it. We must never forget that the truth trumps politics. And if the truth is what we seek, then we have nothing to fear from bringing the clarity that only truth can bring to the chaos and confusion of January 6th.”