A senior Democratic aide involved in the negotiations described the plan as a discussion draft to begin the process of crafting the legislation that will be used to form the group.
According to the aide, the draft calls for a commission of eleven members, outside of government that will be appointed by Congressional leaders and the White House. The “big four” leaders in Congress would each get to appoint two members, while the President would appoint three members including the chair. Based on the current leadership make up Democrats would choose seven of the commission members and Republicans would pick four.
The commissioners would be tasked with filing their report by the end of 2021. The commission would end 60 days after the report has been issued.
While this commission is being modeled after the 9/11 commission, its work is going to be expected to be complete under a much shorter timeline. The commission formed to investigate the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC was formed in November of 2002. It did not release their final report until August of 2004.
At this point, the formation of the commission has received broad, bipartisan support.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to create the commission last week during an update on the ongoing review of Capitol Security being led by retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore. Pelosi has promised that while the commission will draw on the experience of the 9/11 commission, it’s membership will be more diverse.
“Different from 9/11. What were there, nine people? All white, one woman. It will look different,” Pelosi said.
This draft is just the beginning of the negotiations. Republicans will likely offer a counter proposal before the legislation is ultimately drafted.