The bipartisan push to launch an independent and nonpartisan investigation of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol suffered a fatal blow Friday, after nearly all Senate Republicans banded together in opposition.
The 54 to 35 outcome, which fell six votes shy of the 60 needed to circumvent a procedural filibuster, followed hours of overnight chaos as lawmakers haggled over unrelated legislation. The vote stood as a blunt rejection by Republicans of an emotional last-minute appeal from the family of a Capitol Police officer who died after responding to the insurrection, and an eleventh-hour bid by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to save the measure by introducing changes intended to address her party’s principal objections.
In its wake, many senators who had supported the commission were openly angry, as even the Democrats’ most moderate senator blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for killing a bill to score political points, instead of doing what was right.ADVERTISING
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) told reporters that there were “an awful lot of other Republicans that would have supported” the commission “if it hadn’t been for his intervention,” guessing that but for McConnell’s whipping, “13 or 14” GOP senators might have voted for the bill.
In the last two weeks, only a handful of Republican senators have expressed positive sentiments about a commission. On Friday, six of them — Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Collins — joined all voting Democrats to back the commission. All except Portman voted earlier this year to convict Trump on impeachment charges for inciting an insurrection.