Senate Republicans Should Block Legislation for Jan 6 Riot Commission | Politics
Senate Republicans are expected to block legislation to create a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill, a move that will launch Biden’s first filibuster of the session and presidency, as well as curb progress in reaching more consensus in Congress. .
The Senate holds a procedural vote later Thursday night to move on to debate on the bill, drawn up by Democrats and Republicans, but it will likely be less than the 60 votes needed and effectively kill the latest effort to examine the riots and this leads to them. In a tightly Democrat-controlled 50-50 Senate, the party needs at least 10 Republicans to avoid a filibuster.
The legislation is expected to convince at least several Republicans, including Senator Mitt Romeny of Utah, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who drafted an amendment to try to save the commission and influence more d ‘she GOP Colleagues.
After months of delays and accusations of partisan maneuvering by the GOP, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and rank member John Katko of New York have reached a deal on the cadre: 10 members split evenly across parties, with Democrats nominating a president and Republicans nominating a vice president. The group would have subpoena power and bar lawmakers or federal employees from sitting on the commission, which would produce a report by year-end and disband shortly thereafter.
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The House, which is also tightly controlled by Democrats, adopted the commission’s legislation last week with the support of 35 Republicans. It is one of the few major bipartisan efforts before Congress at a time when friction between the parties is complicating the passage of such legislation. But sweeping opposition from GOP leaders in both houses made it anything but certain that the bill would not end up on President Joe Biden’s desk and become law.
Even in the face of resistance from the GOP, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has vowed to hold a vote on the legislation. Schumer has repeatedly stated that he is ready to bring forward bills passed by the House to put pressure on Republicans, although so far many remain in Senate limbo.
But Republicans have adopted a whip operation to prevent Democrats from blocking enough votes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced his opposition to the bill last week, joining his House counterpart and effectively sealing the fate of the creation of a committee. McConnel has openly criticized the murderous incident as well as former President Donald Trump’s response to the riots, but the GOP leader argued that another investigative body would duplicate and that existing federal investigations are sufficient.
“I don’t think the extra commission Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” McConnell said Thursday morning from the floor.
Ahead of the vote, there was a final push on Capitol Hill to appeal to Republicans for their support for a commission.
The mother of Brian Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died the day after Jan.6 following clashes with rioters, has met with several GOP senators to convey the importance of the commission, though some have reaffirmed that ‘they would always oppose creation. of one.
“Not having a commission on January 6 to look into exactly what happened is a slap in the face of all the officers who did their job that day,” Gladys Sicknick said in a statement. “Politics aside, wouldn’t they want to know the truth about what happened on January 6?”
With an independent commission looking increasingly unlikely, the power to probe could fall to Congress. Several committees have already started to investigate and hold hearings into the events of January 6 and the response of law enforcement, but pressure could intensify for the creation of a small committee similar to the one that was created. to investigate the 2014 attacks on the US Embassy complex in Benghazi, Libya. .
As the majority party, Democrats would have clout but would have to devote more time and resources rather than if an independent commission took the reins of investigations.
But Democrats are enraged by the GOP blockade.
They see widespread opposition as the Republican Party reaffirming its commitment to Trump, who has categorically opposed such a commission. And Democrats say Republicans are taking a political gamble that the continued focus on Jan.6 could hurt their electoral prospects – and the chances of both majorities – in the 2022 midterm election.
“There is no excuse for a Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have accepted everything they ask,” West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said in a statement. “McConnell has made this his political position, believing it will help his 2022 election. They don’t believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear.”
With a use of filibuster looming, activists and critics of the delay tactic are once again salivating the opportunity to eliminate it so Democrats can get much of their stalled agenda through. Some Democratic lawmakers believe that a show of GOP resistance will move some hesitant members who want to stick to filibuster and preserve the tradition of the Senate.
But opponents of nixing still don’t seem upset. Manchin again made it clear on Thursday that he was not ready to abandon the filibuster, even in the face of resistance from the GOP.
“I am not ready to destroy our government,” he said.