Senate Republicans blocked a House-passed bill creating an independent commission to investigate the January 6th Capitol riot.
Republicans filibustered the bill with a vote of 54 to 35, six short of the 60 needed to pass the legislation.
GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), and Ben Sasse (Neb.) voted with the Democrats to advance the bill. All but Portman had voted to impeach Trump earlier this year.
Much of the language of the bill was adopted from the 9/11 Commission. The commission would have been comprised of 10 members evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans; both sides would have equal subpoena power, and the commission would have been tasked with issuing a final report about the January 6 riot by the end of the year.
Critics of the bill feared it would have established another witch hunt meant to politically bludgeon Trump supporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) railed against the “cowardice” of Senate Republicans on Friday following the failed vote.
“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate. Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Democrats worked across the aisle, agreeing to everything that Republicans asked for. We did this in the interest of achieving a bipartisan Commission. In not taking yes for an answer, Republicans clearly put their election concerns above the security of the Congress and country.”
Joe Biden had boasted on Friday that the bill would likely pass.
“I can’t imagine anyone voting against establishing a commission on the greatest assault since the Civil War on the Capitol,” Biden told reporters as he ate ice cream.
The Daily Beast argued that the Democrats’ failure to pass the bill despite holding the majority in the Senate only highlights their need to get rid of the filibuster, in the name of “democracy”, of course.
“To preserve the ability of the half dozen or so Republican Senators willing to work with Democrats in a bipartisan manner to protect the republic, [Sens. Joe] Manchin and [Kyrsten] Sinema must rid the Senate of the filibuster. To do anything less will not only imperil any chance of bipartisanship, but our democracy itself,” wrote Cliff Schecter.
The Republicans blocking the bill is also a signal that Donald Trump still wields considerable influence within the party, despite quiet talks in Washington to prevent Trump from getting nominated as the party’s candidate again for the 2024 presidential election.
The January 6th commission comes out to blame everyone in order to grow the Capitol Police’s budget based on lies.