Senate Republicans Block Commission To Investigate Jan. 6 Insurrection

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked an effort to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, despite pleas from the family of a police officer who died after the riot.

The Senate voted 54-35 to move forward on debate on the bill, short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster threat. Six Republicans voted for the commission: Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Ben Sasse and Rob Portman.

“Senate Republicans chose to defend the big lie because they believe anything that could upset Donald Trump could hurt them politically,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote.

The defeat was expected, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared his opposition and his view that the commission would be too partisan. Yet the commission as proposed would have included an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

It’s unclear what will happen next, but one option is for Democrats to form their own select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 siege.

In fact, the greater concern appears to have been highlighting the issue in advance of next year’s midterms. Trump, who was impeached for inciting the siege on the Capitol, was opposed to the creation of such a body that would ostensibly investigate his behavior that day.

On Thursday, family members of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and urged them to pass the bill to create the commission. Gladys Sicknick, his mother, said, “usually I just stay in the background and I couldn’t stay quiet today.” She said that her son “had a work ethic second to none.”

She wrote in a letter to senators, “Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day.”

Schumer announced the vote on Friday morning and noted that Republican leaders had negotiated the details of the bill but still opposed it. He said, “If our Republican friends vote against this, what are you afraid of? The truth? Are you afraid Donald Trump’s big lie will be dispelled? Are you afraid of all the misinformation that was poured out will be rebutted by a bipartisan, down the middle commission?”


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