BREAKING NEWS: Senate Republicans KILL bill to create a Capitol riot commission despite SIX GOP rebels voting in favor with the Democrats
- Senate Republicans tanked the House-passed bill that would create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack
- Democrats were unable to override a Republican filibuster placed on the bill during a Friday vote of 54 to 35, with 60 votes needed
- Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman and Ben Sasse joined the Democrats
- ‘Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they’re afraid of Donald Trump,’ Sen. Chuck Schumer said
- Chaos in the Senate prevented the bill from getting a vote Thursday, when it was expected
Senate Republicans tanked the House-passed bill that would create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack.
Democrats were unable to override a Republican filibuster placed on the bill during a Friday vote of 54 to 35, with 60 votes needed.
Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman and Ben Sasse voted alongside 48 Democrats.
The bill is now essentially dead – though Democrats may launch other investigations and some are ongoing in Senate committees.
‘Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they’re afraid of Donald Trump,’ Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote.
Schumer said ‘out of fear or fealty to Donald Trump the Republican minority just prevented the American people from getting the full truth about January 6.’
‘The Republican minority just prevented the Senate from even debating the bill – no opportunity for amendments, no opportunity for debate,’ Schumer added.
The bill had previously passed the House with the help of 35 Republicans and was the result of a deal between the two top lawmakers – one Democrat and one Republican – on the House’s Homeland Security committee.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer begged Republicans to vote in favor of the commission bill briefly before the Friday morning vote
REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE 1/6 COMMISSION
Sen. Bill Cassidy
Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Sen. Rob Portman
Sen. Mitt Romney
Sen. Ben Sasse
‘Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday afternoon in a statement. ‘Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe.’
She also noted that ‘Democrats worked across the aisle, agreeing to everything that Republicans asked for.’
Chaos in the Senate prevented the bill from getting a vote Thursday, when it was expected.
The upper chamber went into recess at 2:51 a.m. after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson held up a vote on another bill, a large package aimed at making the U.S. more competitive against China, because he didn’t get any amendments in.
Johnson, a top ally of former President Donald Trump, wanted an amendment attached that would address border security.
The Senate resumed its session at 9 a.m. Friday.
Schumer negotiated with Republicans including Johnson, and also Sen. Rand Paul and Tommy Tuberville – who had sucked up floor time Friday morning – to move the vote on the technology vote to after Memorial Day recess to ensure the 1/6 vote happened Friday.
‘It assure it occurs in the light of day, not at 3 in the morning,’ Schumer said on the floor.
In a brief floor speech he implored Republicans to vote for the bill once more.
‘This is not a Democratic or Republican obligation, this is an American obligation. Our democracy, our beautiful, more than two-century old democracy is more at risk because of the lies that have been perpetrated by Donald Trump and his allies than it has in a very long time,’ Schumer argued. ‘And this commission is a great antidote to that.’
Senate Rules Committee Amy Klobuchar quoted Gladys Sicknick, the mother of late Capitol Hill Police officer Brian Sicknick, in remarks she made in the run-up to the vote.
‘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,’ Klobuchar said, reading the comment.
Johnson, who held up the vote for hours, was among the Republican senators who weren’t moved to support a commission after plees from Glady Sicknick, and the longtime girlfriend of Brian Sicknick, who attended meetings with GOP lawmakers Thursday.
‘This is why I’m here today,’ Gladys Sicknick said when asked if she was angry at GOP lawmakers not supportive of a commission. ‘Usually I’m staying in the background and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t stay quiet anymore.’
Brian Sicknick died of natural causes the day after the Capitol riot after suffering a stroke.
His mother and girlfriend, Sandra Garza, were joined by Michael Fanone, a D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer who suffered a heart attack and concussion from the attack and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who said rioters called him racial slurs on January 6.
NBC News and Politico Playbook reported that Murkowski gave a speech to reporters on the need for a commission in front of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was seen on camera leading a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber.
‘We just can’t pretend that nothing bad happened, or that people just got too excitable. Something bad happened. And it’s important to lay that out,’ Murkowski told reporters after a vote on the proposed commission was delayed on Thursday night after the Senate grinded to a halt.
Murkowski didn’t realize Goodman was standing behind her during the speech and later hugged him, NBC News said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opened Thursday’s session announcing he remained against the bill to create a commission.
‘I do not believe the additional extraneous commission the Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,’ McConnell said. ‘Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that.’
McConnell accused Pelosi of presenting lawmakers with a ‘laughably rigged and partisan starting point’ and said the commission remained significantly unfair to Republicans ‘under the hood.’
Gladys Sicknick (left), the mother of Capitol Hill Police Officer, and Michael Fanone (right), a D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer who suffered a heart attack and concussion from the attack, arrive for a meeting Thursday with Sen. Ron Johnson
(From left) Gladys Sicknick, Officer Michael Fanone, Sandra Garza, Officer Harry Dunn and former Rep. Barbara Cornstock walk through a Senate office building as they meet with Republican senators on the 1/6 commission bill
Sandra Garza, the longtime girlfriend of the late Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick, leaves a meeting Thursday with Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican who has said he will vote yes on a bill that will create a 1/6 commission
Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn (center) has said he was called racist slurs by rioters on January 6. He speaks to the press flanked by D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone (left) and Brian Sicknick’s longtime girlfriend Sandra Garza (right)
Sicknick (left) is seen rubbing his face after he was struck by bear spray during the riots. He died a day later. Michael Fanone is seen right surrounded by rioters on January 6
‘So I’ll continue to support the real serious work of our criminal justice system and our own Senate committees and I’ll continue to urge my colleagues to oppose this extraneous layer when the times comes for the Senate to vote,’ McConnell said.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering two strokes during the riot
Johnson sent out a statement after meeting with Sicknick, Garza, Fanone and Dunn.
Johnson said he expressed his condolences but also asked ‘what questions regarding Jan. 6 they are seeking answers to.’
‘Although we respectfully disagreed on the added value of the proposed commission, I did commit to doing everything I could to ensure all their questions will be answered,’ he said.
On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, sent around amendments for the bill that she thought might make it more palatable for Republicans.
Schumer later said that he and Pelosi agreed to them.
On the Democratic side, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema implored GOP lawmakers not to tank the bill.
Manchin and Sinema, both moderates, have stood firm against some members of their party’s desire to change the filibuster rules.
‘There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,’ Manchin said in a statement Thursday morning. ‘Mitch McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 elections. They do not believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear.’
Schumer said Thursday on the floor, ‘Senate Republicans must decide if they’re on the side of truth or on the side of Donald Trump’s big lie.’
He gave a longer speech Wednesday in support of the bill after filing cloture on it the night before.
‘There is an obvious and urgent need to establish such a commission,’ Schumer said. ‘What happened on January 6 was a travesty. The culmination of months of deliberate lies about our elections, propogated by the former president – a dishonest man – and his allies.’
‘I shouldn’t need to remind this chamber of the scene on January 6. We were all there,’ Schumer continued. ‘At one point I was within 20 feet of these white supremacist hooligans,’ he added.
Footage of Schumer’s narrow escape had been shared during former Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Schumer had Senate Republicans go on the record with a vote after party leadership walked away last week from a bipartisan deal struck by House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson and New York Republican Rep. John Katko, the committee’s ranking member.
Last Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that he would not support the legislation, with Republican Whip Steve Scalise asking members to vote no on the bill during the House’s floor vote Wednesday.
The Democratic majority got the legisation through, with 35 Republican members defecting from the party and voting in favor of it.
The final vote was 252-175.
In the hours preceding the House vote, McConnell announced he would not be supporting the commission either – despite a public falling out with Trump.
McConnell also didn’t vote to convict Trump for inciting an insurrection during the Senate’s impeachment trial in February.
On Tuesday, Politico reported that McConnell had warned his GOP colleagues during a closed-door session that the report could be released in the middle of the 2022 election cycle, as Republicans try to take back the Senate and the House from Democratic hands.
Republicans, including McConnell, have argued publicly that the commission would duplicate ongoing efforts by law enforcement and Senate committees looking into January 6.
Schumer called out McConnell on the Senate floor for what Politico had reported about the Kentucky Republican’s fears that it could hurt his party’s midterm prospects.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives on the Senate floor Thursday. McConnell announced on the Senate floor that he remained opposed to the legislation that would create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 MAGA riot
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will force a vote Thursday on the House-passed bill that creates a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 MAGA riot
A man carries a Confederate flag through the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 attack. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called rioters on Wednesday ‘white supremacist hooligans’
‘Look, I am sorry if an independent commission to study an attack on our democracy isn’t a Republican ad-maker’s idea of a good time,’ Schumer scoffed.
He also ribbed an unnamed Republican who called for ‘outside independent investigators’ to be put in charge of the investigation like the 9/11 commission.
‘Hello? I hate to break it to my Republican colleagues, but the legislation passed by the House is modeled after the 9/11 commission and – you guessed it – would be chaired by outside independent personnel appointed by both parties,’ Schumer said.
Schumer also argued an investigation into January 6 was important because ‘faith in our democracy, in our elections, has nose-dived.’
‘In a variety of polls, listen to this, in a variety of polls more than half of the Republican Party believes the election was rigged and Joe Biden isn’t the real president. That is a flashing red warning sign for our democracy,’ he said. ‘If the American people, a large chunk of them, believe the big lie. If the majority of Americans believe that our elections are not on the level, we are on the road to ruin. This grand beautiful, wonderful, several century-old democracy could teeter.’
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