Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona insisted that creating a commission to investigate the Capitol incursion was vitally important, but was not around Friday when the vote came on the proposal.
Although a Friday procedural vote attracted support from 54 senators, the vote needed 60 to overcome a Republican filibuster.
The Friday vote came as many senators left town for the long Memorial Day weekend. Sinema was among 11 senators who were not in the chamber for the vote.
Although many senators cited previous obligations for missing the vote, which had originally been planned for Thursday, Sinema did not explain her actions, according to Fox News.
Sinema spokeswoman, Hannah Hurley, said Sinema supported the bill “and has said so publicly, and she will be entering into the Congressional record that she would’ve voted yes,” according to the Arizona Republic.
Hurley did not reveal why Sinema missed the vote.
Last week, Sinema and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia issued a joint statement in support of the bill creating a commission.
“In the hours and days following the attack, Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned the violence and vowed to hold those responsible accountable so our Democracy will never experience an attack like this again,” the statement said, according to Newsweek.
“A bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day has passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote and is a critical step to ensuring our nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again. We implore our Senate Republican colleagues to work with us to find a path forward on a commission to examine the events of January 6th,” the statement said.
Sinema’s absence drew rebukes and mockery on Twitter:
Kyrsten Sinema missed the vote. She’s been disappointing a lot of people lately.
— Justin Laem (@JustinLaem) May 29, 2021
So wait, you can be a U.S. Senator, make almost 200k, and not show up for work when there's a difficult vote, and you still get paid?
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) May 29, 2021
It appears Sen. Patty Murray had a legit family emergency and had to miss today’s vote on the 1/6 Commission, but Sen. Kyrsten Sinema had better be lying in a ditch somewhere or rescuing kittens from a burning building to have missed the vote.
— Janet Harris, M.P.Aff. (@ThinkUpstream) May 28, 2021
Kyrsten Sinema missed the 1/6 commission vote because she couldn’t decide which top hat with goggles to wear
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) May 29, 2021
Sinema was one of two Democrats to miss the vote.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington was also absent. She later tweeted that she needed to leave due to a “personal family matter.”
Nine Republicans did not attend the vote: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mike Braun of Indiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, James Risch of Idaho, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Six Republicans supported moving forward to debate the bill creating the commission. They were; Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rob Portman of Ohio.