‘Why are we here?’ Rep. Ritchie Torres talks insurrection commission

Unrest In America

NEW YORK — An independent investigation into the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill is now in the hands of the Senate.

The House passed a bi-partisan plan to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the insurrection. 

One of those votes came from Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) told PIX11 News the commission would be independent of politics and independent of the executive branch.

When asked what it’ll take to get the Senate to approve the bill, Torres said he is hopeful the bill has a path to a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

“If we are not willing to investigate an assault on our democracy, then why are we here?” Torres said.

If the Senate votes against the bill, Torres said they would need to rely on committees within congress to investigate facts from Jan. 6, and that is “far from ideal” because those committees have other tasks to do, and it’d be far more politicized.

Women’s rights

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that bans abortions in Texas before many women even know they are pregnant and differs singularly from similar efforts nationwide: leaving enforcement to private citizens, who can sue doctors or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion.

Torres said he was “deeply concerned” with the law and what will happen moving forward. 

He acknowledged the Supreme Court has a conservative majority, but added the “women’s right to choose is a matter of gender equality.”

Antisemitic attacks in NYC

Over the weekend, there were reported attacks on the Jewish community in Brooklyn. Recently, Queens Congresswoman spearheaded a bill that recently passed, which would protect Asian Americans.

Should there be stronger bills to fight hate crimes for antisemitism? Torres said there needs to be stronger legislation, and elected officials and activists need to be more mindful of their words.

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