The House select committee on the Jan. 6 attack has set out to uncover an enormous amount of information with significant obstacles to overcome in the process. With so much to cover in such little time, one committee investigation won't be enough to answer all the unresolved questions.
Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.
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The Senate Rules and Administration Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee conducted a joint probe, and this week, they released their own joint report on the events of Jan. 6. The document is both a useful record and profoundly incomplete.
The bipartisan compromise the House will consider on Wednesday could support a serious investigation. It could also produce deadlock and grandstanding. Everything will depend on the commission’s composition and staffing.
As Congress considers various reforms, including the Power of the Purse Act, both historical and contemporary context is useful.
What do recent court decisions mean for the future of congressional oversight?
Several proposed reforms would stop presidential administrations from using their informational advantages to circumvent the will of Congress.