“This is not a partisan issue, this is not about Republican or Democrat — this is an American issue,” said Secretary Chuck Hagel ahead of Senate vote on the January 6th Commission at Issue One briefing with 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer

Before today’s expected vote in the Senate on legislation that would create an independent and bipartisan January 6th Commission, Issue One convened a press briefing to discuss the need for a national commission to thoroughly investigate the events leading up to and on January 6th so that we can take the necessary steps to prevent future violence and loss of life.

The briefing featured:

  • Ambassador Tim Roemer, former congressman and member of the 9/11 Commission
  • Secretary Chuck Hagel, former senator and secretary of defense

Featured speaker quotes and a full video of the briefing below. Click here for a full transcript of the event. 

Amb. Tim Roemer:

“January 6 was one of the worst days for our law enforcement community since the terrible attacks of 9/11. If you are for our law enforcement community, you are for a January 6th Commission. If you are for protecting the Constitution of the United States and our democracy, you’re for a January 6th Commission And if you’re for securing and protecting our Capitol in the future from domestic terrorism, you are for a January 6h Commission.”

“This is not about left or right. It’s about right and wrong.
 It was wrong for people to violently attack and assault our police officers, our legislators and custodians and staff, to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power, plain wrong.
 It’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about the constitution and our Capitol, and the sanctity of that Capitol.”

“We need to show the world that January 6th was an aberration. It was an assault on our democracy, and we’re going to find out what happened, and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

“I hope that people will look beyond an election cycle, and to the next 100 years of
 our nation’s history, and do the right thing to protect America, to protect our law enforcement, and protect our Capitol.” 

“We join today to implore members from both the Democratic and the Republican parties in the Senate to come together and do the right thing for our country.”

Sec. Chuck Hagel:

“This is not a partisan issue, this is not about Republican or Democrat. This is an American issue. This is about our country, this is about our democracy, this is about our elections law that govern us.
” 

“I would say to each senator: this is your responsibility as a representative of our country. You take an oath of office. It’s not to a president, it’s not to a political party, it’s not to a political philosophy, but it’s to the Constitution, to the people of this country.
 In representative government, if you stay close to your oath of office and don’t get things confused, that’s your North Star. And that’s what I would tell any member of the Senate today who’s going to vote. That’s your North Star. It’s not a Republican or Democratic vote, it’s an American vote.
” 

“I hope our men and women who represent us in the Congress in the United States, today in the Senate, will have the same appreciation of what we’re trying to do and accomplish here by pushing this forward
, and giving some assistance to those who think this commission is important. I think this commission is as important as anything we’ve done in the last 20 years in this country. I really, really mean that.”


“History is going to reflect on this day pretty clearly.
 And as we get beyond January 6, 2021, and we reflect and we look back, and people start writing history books about it — and it will happen pretty quickly. To have no response from the Congress of the United States in asking what happened here, why did it happen, how big was it in this country, what’s going on in this country? And not to have the Congress involved and do something and respond to this is going to be a terrible blackmark on the Congress of the United States.
”

Background:

The House passed bipartisan legislation last week that would establish a national commission, earning strong support from both parties. Thirty-five Republicans joined with all members of the Democratic caucus to support the proposal. Before the vote, Issue One convened a press briefing with 9/11 commissioners and a 9/11 family member and released a joint statement from Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, urging Congress to act and create an independent commission.