Senate vote on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission delayed overnight
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A Senate vote on creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was pushed to later Friday because of delays on an unrelated bill overnight Thursday.
Republicans are expected to oppose the commission, which Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has called a “purely political exercise that adds nothing to the sum total of information.”
Former President Trump has labeled the proposed commission a “Democrat trap.”
The bill to create the commission passed through the House along mostly partisan lines last week but 35 Republicans voted in favor of it.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had reportedly planned to force the commission vote before the Memorial Day recess.
“I’m sorry that it may be bad politics for Republicans in their midterm campaigns,” Schumer said Tuesday. “The Democratic-led Congress is not going to just sweep Jan. 6 under the rug. The truth will come out.”
The bill would need 10 Republican votes to pass, which is unlikely, and it would mark the first successful Senate filibuster of the Biden presidency. The Republican opposition has revived Democratic pressure to do away with the filibuster, a time-honored Senate tradition that requires a vote by 60 of the 100 senators to cut off debate and advance a bill.
The family of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who collapsed and died after the attack, called on Republicans Thursday to support the commission.
“He was just there for our country,” his mother Gladys Sicknick said while at the Capitol. “He just was doing his job and he got caught up. It’s very sad.” She said she usually stays in the “background” but “couldn’t stay quiet anymore.”
Gladys Sicknick and Brian Sicknick’s girlfriend, Sandra Garza, were joined Thursday – by a Capitol police officer and a Metropolitan police officer — both of whom have spoken out publicly about the pro-Trump riot – and by former Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia.
Michael Fanone, a Metropolitan Police Department officer who responded to the attack, said between meetings with Republican senators that a commission is “necessary for us to heal as a nation from the trauma that we all experienced that day.”
Fanone has described being dragged down the Capitol steps by rioters who shocked him with a stun gun and beat him.
They made the rounds to see Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who are supportive of the commission, and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and others who were not.
“I am fighting so hard for the creation of this commission so we can better understand the attack on our democracy and the heroic actions that were taken that day to save our lives,” Collins told reporters after their meeting.
The attack was the worst on the Capitol in 200 years and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s win over Trump.
If Republicans block the creation of the commission as expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may start a Democrat-led investigation.
Republican U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma said she voted in favor of the bipartisan commission over those concerns.
“Without the commission, where conservatives are guaranteed an equal voice, Democrats like [Rep. Jerry] Nadler [D-N.Y.], [Rep. Adam] Schiff [D-Calif.] and Pelosi will be driving the narrative in a Dem-led investigation just like they’ve done in the past,” she said, according to The Hill.
The timing of the vote is unclear as Republicans continue to debate the previous bill meant to boost scientific research and development in the U.S. over China. Republicans have called that bill “rushed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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