Thursday, July 7

They blocked the creation of the commission on January 6

(CNN) — A crucial vote was held in the Senate on Friday on a bill to create an independent investigation into the deadly January 6 riots on Capitol Hill, but the bill, as expected, failed due to lack of support. Republicans.The Republican lockdown underscores the party’s wishes to put behind the deadly insurrection at its workplace, which left five dead and more than 140 police officers injured. His opposition also highlights the control former President Donald Trump continues to have over most of his party.

The key vote was expected as early as Thursday, but due to the order of Senate procedure that vote had to wait until the previous legislation was passed. Republican senators delayed the approval of a huge bill designed to increase America’s competitiveness with China, and that meant the key procedural vote on a bill to create the commission of January 6 had to wait. That deadlock was resolved Friday morning, when senators agreed to raise the vote again after a week-long recess for the Memorial Day holiday.

Supporters of the bill tried to pressure the Republican Party

Supporters of the January 6 commission, among which is the mother of a Capitol Police officer who died the day after the riots, they tried to pressure Republican Party senators throughout the week to convince at least 10 Republicans to back the plan. So far, only three – Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine – have indicated they plan to join Democrats and support the bill.

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Murkowski lashed out Thursday night at his GOP colleagues for blocking the measure, and criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reasoning that such a commission could prove politically problematic for the Republican Party in the face. to the legislative elections of 2022.

“Making a decision for short-term political gain at the expense of understanding and admitting what was in front of us, on January 6, I think we have to look at it critically,” Murkowski said. “Is that really what it is, that everything is one electoral cycle after another? Or are we going to recognize ourselves as a country that is based on these principles of democracy that we hold dear? “

The mother of the fallen Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick, met with more than a dozen Republican senators, including Murkowski, to urge them to vote in favor of creating the commission. But even after those meetings, which according to two known sources were cordial, most senators told him they would not change their minds.

Most GOP senators made it clear to Gladys Sicknick, their son’s girlfriend Sandra Garza, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, and DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone that they don’t want to that a commission investigate what happened that day.

Sicknick told reporters that he hoped his meetings would influence Republicans. “Normally I stay in the background, and I couldn’t keep quiet anymore,” she told reporters on Thursday.

The meetings highlighted the emotional toll that the riots have placed on the Capitol community. The meetings, according to a source familiar with them, were “very tough” for Sicknick, who, along with Garza, wore a necklace with some of his son’s ashes.

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In another reminder of the revolt looming over Washington: Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who became a national hero for his actions in defense of the Senate during the Capitol siege, was seen guarding the Senate Thursday night as part of his duty to protect lawmakers when the House is in session.

What did the bill contain?

The commission would try to find a bipartisan consensus. The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate divide equally the selection of its 10 members. A subpoena to compel a witness may only be issued if it has the support of a majority of the members, or if the committee chair, elected by Democrats, and vice chair, elected by Republicans, reach a agreement.

The commission will also have to present a final report to the president and Congress by the end of 2021 and dissolve 60 days later, about nine months before the 2022 elections.

The House of Representatives passed the bill last week by 252-175 votes, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats.

–Kristin Wilson, Jamie Gangel and Alex Rogers contributed to this report.

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