Republicans block bipartisan Jan. 6 commission
The U.S. Senate voted 54-35 Friday in favor of creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, falling six votes short of the necessary 60-vote threshold to block a threatened Republican filibuster.
Six Republicans – Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska – joined 48 Democrats in supporting a floor vote on the commission proposal.
Eleven senators – Republicans Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mike Braun of Indiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, James Risch of Idaho, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Democrats Patty Murray of Washington and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – didn’t cast votes.
The House had passed the measure last week with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the bipartisan commission proposal.
Blocking this proposal doesn’t mean Congress won’t be investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated after the vote that he expects Democrats to move forward with a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack because “facts must come out.”
Virginia delegation speaks out
Sen. Mark Warner
“Today, in the very room that a violent mob desecrated while attempting to undermine our democracy, my colleagues opted out of pursuing a fulsome and transparent investigation into the security failures and actions that ultimately led up to the tragic events on Jan. 6.
“It’s only been four months since the country, and the world, watched in real-time as insurrectionists breached and stormed the United States Capitol. Unfortunately today, there are those who believe that we can simply just wash our hands of what happened, and some who continue to peddle the kind of disinformation that instigated the insurrection in the first place. What we know is this: the actions that day only gave succor to our nation’s enemies, who rejoiced at the thought of democracy’s fragility.
“Despite the failure of today’s vote, my colleagues in the House and Senate must not shirk our responsibility to seek answers and accountability, and to reassure the American people that our democracy stands strong.”
Seventh District Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger
“History will not look kindly on cowardly lawmakers who blocked a bipartisan compromise and refused to stand up for the rule of law, refused to remember the injuries sustained by law enforcement officers defending the Capitol, and refused to protect our democracy.”
Eighth District Congressman Don Beyer
“Senate Republicans took political cowardice to a new level today. The legislation they blocked is the result of a bipartisan compromise in the House to create a bipartisan investigation modeled on the bipartisan 9/11 Commission. Mitch McConnell admitted behind closed doors that his motivation for obstructing this measure was entirely political calculation.
“At a time when radical right-wing House Republicans refer to a violent attack on our democracy – which resulted in deaths and widespread injuries of police officers – as a ‘peaceful’ event akin to a ‘tourist visit,’ it is ludicrous to say we do not need a bipartisan investigation to establish the truth.
“If you have met with Officer Fanone or the other brave officers grievously injured protecting Congress that day, know about Officers Smith and Liebengood, or spoken with the grieving family of Officer Sicknick, it is so clear that the wounds of that day are still fresh. The words and actions of our colleagues who deny these sacrifices are a disgrace to this body, and inflict new trauma on those who ensure our safety. These politicians do not ‘back the blue,’ and the American people should remember that.”
Story by Chris Graham