On the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday, Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) defended the agreement he negotiated with Democrats to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The legislation passed the House with 35 Republicans joining the Democrats.

The commission would investigate how and why the attack occurred, and make recommendations to prevent similar attacks and improve security at the Capitol complex. It would consist of 10 members, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and modeled after the 9/11 Commission. A final report would be issued by the end of the year.

“The American people and the Capitol Police deserve answers and action as soon as possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” Katko said.

Katko said the commission would investigate what information was known before the attack, why Capitol Police were left unprepared and why it took so long for reinforcements to arrive.

“This is about facts, it’s not partisan politics,” he said. “We would’ve never got to this point if it was about partisan politics.”

But Republicans in the House did say the commission is political and would be used to smear former President Donald Trump and his supporters. One congressman suggested Katko was being played by Democrats.

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