The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol is battling for attention after it delayed its hearing scheduled this week — the first public hearing it was to hold in more than a month — as Hurricane Ian bore down on Florida.
The hurricane, the first major storm to hit the Tampa Bay area in a century, has captured widespread attention after it was projected to be a major hurricane earlier this week. It made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm.
A scramble to avert a government shutdown by week's end is similarly consuming Washington, while some lawmakers are also weighing how to move forward on a controversial permitting reform bill after it was struck from a stopgap bill this week.
Hanging over everything is the final five-plus weeks of campaigning before the midterms, with cash-strapped candidates and allied groups rushing to invest in ads and on-the-ground resources with control of Congress hanging in the balance.
This week's scrapped Jan. 6 hearing has yet to be put back on the calendar after it was postponed Tuesday, though members are signaling they are eager to wrap up their work and make their recommendations before Election Day in November.
Details have been guarded, so it’s not clear who might testify or what footage the public will see, though Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has suggested in interviews there is more evidence that has yet to be shown to the public.
The panel must make several decisions before it finishes its investigation, including whether to make criminal referrals and when to transfer material to the Justice Department, which is conducting its own probes.
This week's hearing was slated to be held Wednesday afternoon, after several prime-time hearings. Whenever it's rescheduled, it's expected to be the panel’s final hearing until it releases a report on its findings and makes recommendations for legislation.