Representative Michelle Fischbach, Republican of Minnesota, argued that the committee would duplicate existing investigations and engage in “partisan, divisive politics.”
“We gave you bipartisan,” Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, responded, referring to the proposed independent inquiry, which would have had an equal number of Democrat- and Republican-appointed members. “Give me a break. This is clear: They don’t want to get to the truth.”
In particular, the select committee is charged with investigating failures in law enforcement, such as intelligence gathering, and the root causes that influenced so many to turn violent, scrutinizing online platforms and any potential “malign foreign influence operations.”
During the debate on Wednesday, several Democrats spoke of the emotional toll Jan. 6 had taken on them. Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California — who was shot in 1978 on a remote airstrip in Guyana during the Jonestown massacre, which killed her boss at the time, Representative Leo J. Ryan, Democrat of California, and four others — recalled being trapped in the House chamber and hearing a gunshot outside.
“My heart is racing right now and I’m trembling,” she said, thinking back on Jan. 6. “I thought at that moment, ‘My God, I survived Guyana. But I’m not going to survive this in the house of democracy.’ ”
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and chairwoman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, called the riot, which unfolded as Congress officially tallied electoral votes to formalize President Biden’s victory, “one of the most shattering times of my life — to see the work of our government violated and stopped by an insurrection.”
“I don’t know what would have happened if they had captured the vice president,” Ms. Maloney said, referring the mob’s threats to hang Mike Pence, for whom they built a gallows outside the Capitol. “His life would have been in danger, no question.”