Report: Jan. 6 Committee Quickly Crafting 'Sweeping Legislation'
The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 (Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 17 September 2022 03:33 PM EDT
The House select committee on Jan. 6 is working to quickly put together "sweeping legislation" to prevent a future similar event, The Hill reported Saturday.
"We have some minor factual loose ends to wrap up, but then really what we need to do is to make our sweeping legislative recommendations about what needs to be done to fortify America against coups and insurrections and political violence in the future," committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told the news outlet. "We want to strengthen and fortify the electoral system and the right to vote. We want to do what we can to secure the situation of election workers and keep them safe from violence. We want to solidify the states in their determination that private armed militias not operate in the name of the state. You know, we don't have any kind of federal law or policy about private armed militias."
According to the report, the panel has until the end of the year to finish its work, including legislation that could include election reforms and enhanced criminal penalties for similar actions.
The committee is charged with investigating the protest and eventual riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after several hundred supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election.
The report said that committee vice chair Liz Cheney, R-Wy., wants to see harsher penalties for the actions taken by Trump, which she believes were a dereliction of duty in allowing the riot to unfold that day.
"We are evaluating whether our criminal laws should be enhanced to apply more consequences to this type of behavior," she told The Hill.
In addition to criminal penalties, the proposed legislation could also include a clarification of the vice president's role in the final certification as strictly ceremonial without an ability to challenge the results.
It may also increase the number of state delegation members required to challenge the electoral college votes from just one House member and Senate member to 20% of the state's delegation, according to the report.
Raskin told The Hill that the legislation must be "comprehensive," and it must do more than simply "clarify" the vice president's role.
"We need to develop a comprehensive approach to guaranteeing voting rights and solidifying the electoral apparatus against coups and insurrections, political violence and electoral sabotage in the future," Raskin said. "If all we did was to say that the vice president does not have the authority to nullify Electoral College votes, then we will not have lived up to this moment."