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The news outlet Axios on Thursday listed Iowa Republican U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks as one of the most bipartisan freshman members of Congress, hours after she joined Democrats and 34 other Republican House members to back legislation to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
That move may come with blowback from within her party. Most rank-and-file Republicans and former President Donald Trump, who still holds a firm grip on the party, oppose the investigation.
Iowa's two other GOP House members, Reps. Randy Feenstra and Ashley Hinson, voted against the bill. Democrat Cindy Axne supported it.
The measure would set up a 10-member commission evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and is modeled after the panel that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The bill, though, faces an uncertain future in the Senate. This week, Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley questioned the need for the commission.
Miller-Meeks told the Quad-City Times in an interview Thursday that "we need to make sure something like this never happens again."
"There is a great amount of concern of the security breach and the lack of security" at the Capitol, Miller-Meeks said. "A lot of blame has been laid at the feet of Capitol police, and I felt that in order to support the Capitol police, a bipartisan commission ... having the ability to have subpoena power was important."
Miller-Meeks added that although investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection are underway by congressional committees with Democratic majorities, "I thought a more fair, bipartisan process where there is equal representation would be important."
Asked how voters in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District will react to her vote, Miller-Meeks said she is willing to defend her decision and "conservative voting record on the issues that are important to Republican voters.’’
"I think that most Republicans, had they seen the Capitol police as I had seen them and the violence that ensued, would also want to get to the bottom of this," she said.
"We need to know where there were failures in leadership. And some of those failures ... may rest at the feet of Democrats. And so I think it's very important to have those questions answered."