Starting the Conversation on the January 6 Commission

Following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, bipartisan legislation was introduced to form a Congressional commission that would investigate the incident and report findings. Commissions like this have been created following significant events like 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. While the resulting information can be very valuable, these commissions can be a struggle to create and partisanship often comes into play.

Click below to get an overview of the proposed January 6 Commission and its purpose.

"Outside during the US Capitol during the January 6, 2021 attack on the building" by Tyler Merbler from USA, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons (image resized)

So Here’s the Question

At your next gathering or in a group chat, use these questions to spark a discussion:

  • Was a January 6 Commission even needed, given that there are ongoing investigations into the attack by multiple Senate and House committees and law enforcement?
  • How could this particular commission benefit Americans following the January 6 events? What do you see as the downsides to creating such a group?
  • Would you back a commission if it was formed by a completely independent agency? Why or why not?
  • In this hyper-partisan atmosphere, are these commissions valuable and useful to Americans? Are they worth the political circus that often follows?
  • What can be done to keep partisan politics from interfering into investigations of this nature?
  • How would you feel about Speaker Nancy Pelosi creating a House Select Committee to investigate the events of January 6? Given it would be made up of members of Congress instead of an independent panel, how would it change the outcome?

Something to Consider

Here’s a sample of what people are saying either supporting or opposing the January 6 Commission. We’ve intentionally left out the commenters’ names so you can focus on the viewpoint itself, not the speaker’s affiliations.

We can never put our country, our communities and our families through this again. This isn’t about pointing fingers, but learning from our experiences and promising to do better."

In the aftermath of national crises, such as Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, or September 11th, our nation has established commissions so the American people know the truth and we can prevent these events from happening again.”

It's not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could actually lay on top of existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress.”

The idea that a commission or investigation must be bipartisan or voters won’t take it seriously exists in DC and vanishes once you step outside of it.”

But if it’s going to go forward, it needs to be clearly balanced and not tilted one way or the other, so we have an objective evaluation.”

For Deeper Exploration

Looking for more? These resources will help you:

Congress.gov: Read House Bill 3233
Just Security: Compare Other Commissions

Share with the Community

Find us on social media and make your voice heard in the fight for democracy. Use #DemocracyChats and #JuntoClub to share what you’re learning from your pro-democracy conversations and what questions are sparking the best discussions in your circles.