White House press secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the president believes Congress is the appropriate entity to pursue such an investigation despite the Democratic-led legislature's inability to establish such a commission so far.
"As the President has said, the events of January 6th 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," she confirmed the news in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "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. Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission."
Senate Republicans last Friday thwarted an effort to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, blocking legislation they believed would ultimately be used as a political weapon against them by Democrats.
Most Republicans refused to back the measure, depriving the Democrats of the 60-vote threshold needed to begin debate on the bill.
It was the first GOP filibuster of major legislation since the Democrats reclaimed the Senate majority in January.
Six Republican senators backed the proposal to cut off debate on the bill for a Jan. 6 commission: Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. All of them were among the seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict President Donald Trump on the impeachment charge that he incited the riot. Additionally, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who is retiring after the 2022 elections, voted with the Democrats.
Democrats are now more likely to appoint a special congressional committee, without any GOP participation, which would examine what led hundreds of angry protesters to storm into the Capitol following a rally by Trump, who told them that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of President Joe Biden.
Democrats condemned the GOP filibuster, accusing Republicans of wanting to avoid finding out the truth behind what caused the attack. Democrats also say the protesters were white supremacists motivated by Trump’s claims that the election was stolen from him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues a presidential commission was "not a workable idea in this circumstance," according to a Wednesday report from the Associated Press, and the California Democrat asserted Congress would still have to approve money and subpoena authority for a Biden-initiated commission.
"Members of Congress swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the President believes they can, and must, do that by putting politics aside and supporting a full and transparent investigation into January 6th," Psaki added.