The vote was a stinging defeat for proponents of the commission, who had argued that it was the only way to assemble a truly comprehensive account of the riot for a polarized nation.,
Democrats failed to get enough votes for an independent inquiry into the Jan. 6 riot.
Republicans Block Independent Inquiry Into Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
Senate Republicans on Friday blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The final vote, 54 to 35, fell short of the 60 senators needed.
“On this vote, the yeas are 54, the nays are 35. Three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to.” That of fear or fealty to Donald Trump, the Republican minority just prevented the American people from getting the full truth about Jan. 6. The Republican minority just prevented the Senate from even debating the bill. No opportunity for amendments, no opportunity for debate. Now, this should have been simple. The commission was bipartisan, independent, straight down the middle. House Democrats accepted every change that House leadership requested. Speaker Pelosi and I supported, and still do support, the changes Senator Collins proposed. And we told that to other senators. Senate Republicans for months publicly supported the idea of a commission. But now all of a sudden, the Senate minority and the Senate minority leader waged a partisan filibuster against the bill. This vote has made it official: Donald Trump’s big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party. We’ve all lived through the horrors of Jan. 6. I was no further than 30 feet from those white supremacist hooligans. To my Republican colleagues who remember that day — to my Republican colleagues, remember the savage mob calling for the execution of Mike Pence, the makeshift gallows outside the Capitol, men with bulletproof vests and zip ties breaking into the Senate gallery and rifling through your desks? Police officers crushed between doorways — shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they’re afraid of Donald Trump. Our democracy has long endured because leaders of good faith, even if they disagreed, even at political cost, shared a fidelity to the truth. Not so today.”
Senate Republicans on Friday blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The final vote, 54 to 35, fell short of the 60 senators needed.CreditCredit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times
May 28, 2021, 12:17 p.m. ET
Republicans on Friday blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, using their filibuster power in the Senate for the first time this year to doom a full accounting for the deadliest attack on Congress in centuries.
With the vast majority of Republicans determined to shield their party from potential political damage that could come from scrutiny of the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, only six G.O.P. senators joined Democrats to support advancing the measure. The final vote, 54 to 35, fell short of the 60 senators needed to move forward.
The vote was a stinging defeat for proponents of the commission, who had argued that it was the only way to assemble a truly comprehensive account of the riot for a polarized nation. Modeled after the inquiry into the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the proposed panel of experts would have been responsible for producing a report on the assault and recommendations to secure Congress by the end of the year.
The debate played out in the same chamber where a throng of supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, egged on by his lies of a stolen election and efforts by Republican lawmakers to invalidate President Biden’s victory, sought to disrupt Congress’s counting of electoral votes about five months ago.
Top Republicans had entertained supporting the measure as recently as last week. But they ultimately reversed course, and the House approved it with only 35 Republican votes. Leaders concluded that open-ended scrutiny of the attack would hand Democrats powerful political ammunition before the 2022 midterm elections — and enrage a former president they are intent on appeasing.
“I do not believe the additional extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader. “Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that.”
Though Mr. McConnell said he would continue to support criminal cases against the rioters and stand by his “unflinching” criticisms of Mr. Trump, the commission’s defeat is expected to embolden the former president at a time when he has once again ramped up circulation of his baseless and debunked claims.
In a matter of months, his lies have warped the views of many of his party’s supporters, who view Mr. Biden as illegitimate; inspired a rash of new voting restrictions in Republican-led states and a quixotic recount in Arizona denounced by both parties; and fueled efforts by Republican members of Congress to downplay and reframe the Capitol riot as a benign event akin to a “normal tourist visit.”
“People are just now beginning to understand!” Mr. Trump wrote in a statement on Thursday.
Democrats denounced the vote as a cowardly cover-up. They warned Republicans that preventing an independent inquiry — led by five commissioners appointed by Democrats and five by Republicans — would not shield them from confronting the implications of Mr. Trump’s attacks on the democratic process.
“Do my Republican colleagues remember that day?” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, asked moments after the vote. “Do my Republican colleagues remember the savage mob calling for the execution of Mike Pence, the makeshift gallows outside the Capitol?”
“Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they are afraid of Donald Trump,” he added.
The six Republicans who voted to advance debate on the commission included Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan M. Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. All but Mr. Portman had voted at an impeachment trial in February to find Mr. Trump guilty of inciting the insurrection.
A seventh Republican, Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, missed the vote but said he would have voted to advance debate on the commission. He was one of 11 senators who missed the vote.