The family of a Capitol Police officer who took his own life after defending the building during the Jan. 6 attack is urging lawmakers to vote for legislation that would create a bipartisan commission to probe the riot.
In a letter released Wednesday by Rep Jennifer Wexton, Virginia Democrat, the family of Howie Liebengood said the commission would help heal the nation.
“We believe a thorough, nonpartisan investigation into the root causes of and the response to the January 6th riot is essential for our nation to move forward,” the statement said.
“Howie’s death was an immediate outgrowth of those events. Every officer who worked that day, as well as their families, should have a better understanding of what happened. Uncovering the facts will help our nation heal and may lessen the lingering emotional bitterness that has divided our country,” the statement continued.
The bill is expected to be approved in the Democrat-controlled chamber Wednesday, in spite of increased opposition from Republicans who say the commission will be partisan and slanted.
Lawmakers are also voting on a $1.9 billion security package to bolster security at the U.S. Capitol. One of the provisions of the bill would name a mental health wellness program for Capitol Police officers after Liebengood.
“We are honored a wellness program bearing Howie’s name has been proposed in the security supplemental along with more resources for the program,” his family said in a statement. “We welcome and support the new funding and staffing initiatives that will help prevent future tragedies among the USCP.”