MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Republican Representative Tom Rice voted Wednesday in favor of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
The House voted to create an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, sending the legislation to an uncertain future in the Senate as Republican increasingly line up against the bipartisan investigation and align themselves with former President Donald Trump.
In a statement to News13, Rice said the bipartisan commission would present “the facts and causes of the event in order to secure our Capitol and ensure our democracy remains intact for future generations.”
Read the full statement from Rice below:
“On January 6th, so many were injured, the United States Capitol was ransacked, police were beaten and five people were killed. I was shocked and angered. As members of Congress, we took an oath to defend our democracy. I believe we must fully know the facts and causes of the event in order to secure our Capitol and ensure our democracy remains intact for future generations. Today, I joined my House colleagues in support of establishing a one year, bi-partisan National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex.”
The proposed commission is modeled after the similar body formed to look into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Made up of five independent Democratic appointees and five independent Republican appointees, it would examine the origins of the Jan. 6 riot and the security breakdown that allowed it.
Rice was one of the few republican representatives who voted in January to impeach former President Donald Trump. After his vote, he told News13 he was unhappy with Trump’s response to the riots at the Capitol, which led to his decision. He said the riots were a result of Trump’s actions.
“His actions this last week — well since the election — but particularly in this last week, have just exhibited a complete lack of leadership and responsibility,” Rice said.
Rice said Trump’s tweets about Vice President Mike Pence not having the courage to “do the right thing” showed no regard for the well-being of the police, Pence, or anybody else.
“He never did a press briefing, he never spoke to the county, he just put out a couple of tweets,” Rice said. “He just sat in the White House and watched what happened on TV, and I think that is horrifying. I think he completely abdicated his leadership.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced Wednesday he would not support the commission.
“I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “It’s not at all what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could actually lay on top of existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.