Ahead of Key Senate Vote, Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Jan. 6 Commission

Ahead of a key vote on the January 6 commission, a new poll finds that a majority of Americans support a panel to investigate the U.S. Capitol riot.

A survey released Thursday by YouGov and The Economist showed 56 percent of U.S. adults "somewhat" or "strongly" approve of the commission. Just 29 percent of those polled said they oppose the panel.

The findings come as Senate Republicans are expected to block advancement of the bill creating the commission. Democrats will need the support of at least 10 Republicans in Thursday's procedural vote to move the legislation forward.

In a floor speech ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called January 6 "one of the lowest moments in our democracy."

The legislation, passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month, would establish a 10-person committee made up of five Democrat-appointed members and five Republican-appointed members. Both parties would have the power to sign off on any subpoenas during the panel's probe.

The commission would be charged with studying the facts and circumstances of the U.S. Capitol attack as well as influencing factors that may have provoked it. Some Republicans, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, oppose the commission because they say it would not take into account far-left political violence.

After months of negotiations, the lower chamber voted 252-175 in favor of the commission. Thirty-five House Republicans broke with their party to support the measure.

But in the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has criticized the bill as a "purely political exercise."

"I do not believe the additional, extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing. Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that," the minority leader said.

Majority of Americans Support Jan. 6 Commission
Pro–Donald Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Schumer argued that Republicans are against the bill because of politics.

"The truth of the matter seems to be that Senate Republicans oppose the commission because they fear that it might upset Donald Trump and their party's midterm messaging," Schumer said. "Well, too bad. This is too important."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that President Joe Biden wants to see a bipartisan commission investigate the insurrection.

"Certainly he believes they should continue to move this forward and wants to see the commission, the bipartisan commission, passed," Psaki told reporters on Air Force One. "And he wants to make sure that's law, because that was a dark day in our history and he thinks we should not only take a moment to recognize that but also prevent it from happening ever in the future."

Gladys Sicknick, the mother of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died following the riot, pleaded with Republican senators on Thursday to approve the commission.

"Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day," she said in a statement earlier this week. "Because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families.

YouGov and The Economist polled 1,500 U.S. adults between May 22 and 25. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.