WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released the following statement after voting to advance the January 6 commission legislation:
“The January 6 attack on the Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. To keep it from happening again, a fair and objective investigation into what led to the attack, the lack of preparedness at the Capitol, and the slow response on that day are needed. Part of that will be provided the week of June 7, by the joint HSGAC/Rules Committee bipartisan report. It will focus on the Capitol security and intelligence failures leading up to and on January 6.
“I believe an independent outside commission can build on that report and ensure a complete picture for the American people, including why the attack occurred and who was involved. As I told the mother of Capitol Police Officer Sicknick in my meeting with her yesterday, I believe this only works if people believe the commission is fair and non-partisan.
“I voted yes on the motion to proceed on debate regarding legislation to create the independent January 6 commission. However, I have made it clear that I can only support passage of the legislation if there are some common-sense changes to ensure the commission is non-partisan and fair, including ensuring the staff are not chosen through a partisan process, as the House bill envisions. I support changing the chairman and vice-chair roles to co-chairs who mutually agree on staff. We must also ensure there isn’t duplication with the joint HSGAC /Rules Committee investigation and report, and ensure the commission’s report is completed by the end of this year.
“It’s important that this commission be viewed as non-partisan and operating on equitable terms, so that Americans can have confidence in its findings. Our country is too deeply divided already and needs to heal from the wounds caused by the attack on January 6 – not divide further due to a partisan commission report.”