Support H.R. 3233, a bill to create a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

View a PDF of this letter here.

Dear Senator:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 56 undersigned organizations urge you to vote for H.R. 3233, the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act. The Leadership Conference intends to include your position on this bill in our voting records for the 117th Congress.

The domestic terrorist attack on January 6, 2021 will forever be remembered as one of the ugliest single days in our nation’s history. In a desperate attempt to change the outcome of a lawful and fair election, a mob heavily comprised of white nationalists, private militia organizations, and internet conspiracy theorists –all of whom had been egged on by former President Trump’s baseless lies and violent rhetoric – stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop the constitutionally-mandated counting of electoral votes. The insurrectionists constructed a gallows and noose on the Capitol grounds, chanted calls to murder the former Vice President, and came dangerously close to apprehending members of Congress. Several lives were lost, dozens of police officers were injured, and the sanctity of one of our nation’s most important institutions was violated in a way that will have lasting implications for our national security and for who we are as a country. Sadly, to the communities we represent, this type of white supremacist political violence is not new.

What is even more disturbing is the existence of widespread evidence that this attempted violent overthrow of our government was not only foreseeable and preventable, but that it also could have been halted much more quickly than it was. While many of the people involved in the attack continue to face individual legal accountability, the significance of the attack on one of our country’s most important institutions – and what could have happened, if one heroic officer had not baited the mob into chasing him away from the Senate chamber – demands a fuller investigation into how such a thing could have happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.

H.R. 3233 would establish an utterly thoughtful and solemn approach to investigating the January 6 attack. Largely identical to the commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 attacks, it would create a ten-member panel, with five members selected by each party. It gives the commission adequate resources and authorities on a bipartisan basis, including subpoena powers, to unearth facts in whatever direction the investigation takes it. And to ensure that the lessons are promptly learned, and to reduce the risk of politicization, H.R. 3233 requires the commission to issue its final report by the end of this year.

We urge you to reject the false equivalencies and gross misrepresentations that have been raised by some opponents of this bill. Those who have voiced opposition to or “concerns” about the bill have either not read it or are hoping that you will not read it. H.R. 3233 was the product of months of bipartisan negotiations, and opponents have failed to point to any significant differences between H.R. 3233 and the bill that created the September 11 commission. It requires the commission to agree on a bipartisan basis on the process for hiring staff and the issuance of subpoenas, and explicitly includes a December 31, 2021 deadline for the completion of its findings. And there is no sound reason for the commission to investigate unrelated incidents, because in no other incident did a mob breach the United States Capitol in an effort to apprehend and murder elected officials – indeed, the only recent domestic terrorist incident that approaches the magnitude of this attack was last year’s failed plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan. Yet H.R. 3233 reasonably omits that from the commission’s scope as well.

H.R. 3233 passed the House last week with significant bipartisan support, and it deserves the same in the Senate. We strongly urge you to vote in favor of cloture and final passage of the bill, as written, without any further delay.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Randhava, Senior Counsel, at [email protected].


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
A. Philip Randolph Institute
American Federation of Teachers
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Anti-Defamation League
Appleseed Foundation
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Responsible Lending
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Code for America
Community Catalyst
Community Change Action
Democracy 21
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Equal Justice Society
Fair Elections Center
Feminist Majority
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
Human Rights Campaign
Jewish Labor Committee
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of Conservation Voters
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
Matthew Shepard Foundation
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
National Action Network
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc.
National Council of Churches
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC)
National Council of Negro Women
National Disability Rights Network
National Fair Housing Alliance
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Urban League
Natural Resources Defense Council
People For the American Way
Pride at Work
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
SPLC Action Fund
Union for Reform Judaism
United Sikhs
Voices for Progress
Voto Latino