To pass the bill, Democrats needed to enlist the support of at least ten Republicans. Only six of them supported the idea of creating a commission.
Republican senators on Friday blocked the passage of a bill to conduct a bipartisan investigation into the circumstances of the riots that occurred in the Capitol building on January 6, when hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump broke in.
Democrats and several moderate Republicans have previously called for the creation of a commission to investigate the events leading up to the events of January 6, when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, clashed with police officers, called for violence against lawmakers and delayed the procedure for officially approving Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Five people were killed in the riots, including a Capitol police officer.
54 senators voted in favor of the bill, while 35 Republicans voted against it. To approve this document, its authors needed to enlist the support of 60 senators.
“We all know what happened here. Republican senators chose to defend the Big Lie because they fear political damage if something doesn’t please Donald Trump,” Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, said after the vote.
For the first time this year, Republicans were able to take advantage of the filibuster – the 60-vote barrier required to pass a bill through the Senate.
This vote demonstrates that Democrats will face serious challenges in the upper house of Congress, as they will be forced to enlist the support of at least ten Republicans to pass their initiatives through the Senate, including a bill on police reform, voting rules, and other priority laws for the Biden administration.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the commission investigating the Capitol riots would duplicate the work done by other congressional committees, as well as the wide-ranging federal criminal investigation that has resulted in more than 440 arrests so far.
Republicans are also concerned that the commission, which the bill’s authors intended to create on the model of the commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 attacks, will focus on Trump’s false claims about the results of the 2020 election during the campaign for next year’s midterm congressional elections.
Earlier, the proposal was passed by the House of Representatives with the support of all Democrats and 35 Republicans. “We can’t pretend that nothing terrible has happened… Something bad has happened. And it’s important to talk about it,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of six Republicans in the Senate who supported the idea of creating a commission, said in an interview with reporters.