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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | November 15, 2002

Independent commission passed by House

So it will happen. Due in large part because of pressure from Lieberman and McCain, the House passed a bill creating an independent 9-11 probe. The commission will have 10 members, half Republicans and half Democrats. The chair will be a Republican.

Here's the key: subpoenas can only be issued by concurrence of the chair or six of the 10 members of the commission, which would indicate that Republicans could stymie any real investigation. (There's no way the commission's Democrats could force a subpoena without Republican support, while the opposite is not the case.)

BUT, the deal requires at least one of the commissioners be essentially selected by John McCain, which many hope would give the Democrats on the commission a swing vote in case of partisan deadlocks.

"If it wasn't for this provision we would not support this proposal," said Steve Push of The Families of Sept. 11. "[McCain] is independent minded and we're confident if he makes one of the Republican picks we can count on that person."
The Senate will now take up the provision, which Bush has apparently promised to sign.

Posted November 15, 2002 07:04 AM | Comments (20)


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