By Lissandra Villa
Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin introduced the resolution Tuesday afternoon to consolidate several different investigations into foreign interference in the election already in progress in Congress. Several committees in Congress have already said they are investigating.
“There are multiple investigations going on right now that poses potential jurisdiction barriers or battles,” Langevin told BuzzFeed News. “A joint subcommittee would cut across all jurisdictional barriers and bounds and would streamline the investigation.”
The need for this joint committee has grown more urgent given Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation from the role of national security adviser in President Donald Trump’s administration, Langevin said.
Democrats have been calling for an independent, nonpartisan commission since December —legislation that Langevin said he would support in addition to the joint committee he is hoping to establish— but have failed to get Republicans on board with the idea.
In the House, Republicans have said they think more investigation into the matter would be redundant. In addition to the House’s intelligence committee, the Senate’s foreign affairs and armed services committees and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism are also looking into the matter. In the Senate, there are Republicans who say the growing number of congressional arms looking into Russia is growing cumbersome.
A number of Republicans have already dismissed the idea of a bicameral commission, including House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan and chairman of the House intelligence committee Rep. Devin Nunes.
“It just makes so much sense to do this in a comprehensive, streamlined way since it’s already happening right now in a disjointed way,” Langevin said. He added he has had preliminary discussions with senators.
The resolution says the joint committee would be made up of 16 members, four from both parties in the House and Senate. The committee would be authorized to call hearings and would have access to relevant materials.