Washington, DC – Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) introduced legislation today to further investigate both the January 6 domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol and the federal government’s failure to more broadly respond to the threat of domestic terrorism over the past two decades.
The Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act of 2021 would create an independent, bipartisan commission and be modeled after the 9/11 Commission. By broadening the investigation beyond the January 6 attack, the commission will be able to conduct a more robust investigation and provide better-informed recommendations to ensure the government is fully equipped to counter and prevent acts of domestic terrorism.
“On January 6, the world watched as violent extremists attacked the United States Capitol and attempted to stop the peaceful transfer of power,” said Rep. Sherrill. “We were unprepared and as a result, police officers lost their lives and too many others were seriously injured. Around the country, we have seen a dramatic increase in extremism, acts of hate-fueled violence, and domestic terrorism. Congress must act swiftly to determine exactly how we got to January 6 and how we move forward as a country. This independent, bipartisan commission will investigate the root causes of domestic extremism, how deeply it has penetrated our institutions, and how we can hold those who commit acts of violence accountable while also healing our country.”
“The planning and fomenting of the mob that nearly destroyed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th was no secret or surprise. People openly seeking to overthrow our democracy were broadcasting their threats publicly for weeks in advance. Yet our defenses on that day were practically nonexistent in the face of such a grave threat. The result of that planning failure was the deaths of seven people, including Officer Brian Sicknick, and injuries to at least another 140 police officers who fought valiantly to secure and safeguard our country’s tabernacle of democracy despite not being properly staffed or supported in the face of thousands of armed insurrectionists,” said Rep. Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee and Member of the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s clear that this incident did not occur in a vacuum. The federal government has been woefully negligent in addressing the rise of white supremacy and violent extremism for decades. Congress must work now to identify and fortify the weaknesses in our response on January 6th and going forward for the safety and security of our country.”
“Acts of domestic terrorism, such as the assault of the Capitol or attacks against our communities by Antifa and other violent, anti-American extremists, hurt our nation,” said Rep. Reed. “The Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act of 2021 provides us with a structure to fully investigate these incidents and produce the information needed to better protect the American people. This legislation will also help reveal what causes individuals to turn to extremism and what can be done to prevent radicalization. If we truly care about the safety of our communities and the integrity of our democracy, we must act to stop extremism and prevent such attacks from occurring again.”
“The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th was a direct threat to our democracy, and I am proud to solemnly join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure that what happened on that fateful day never happens again. Terrorism remains one of New York’s greatest threats and I promise to work every day to thwart all attacks from enemies foreign and domestic against our Homeland,” said Rep. Garbarino.