Despite House passage of a bill to launch a special commission to investigate the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol, the effort appears to be dead in the water — at least for now — due to the opposition of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January the 6th,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, according to The Washington Post, before a 252-175 House vote to support creating the commission commenced and the motion was passed.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had opposed the bill and said if a commission were established, it should investigate all political violence — including that which linked to liberals.
“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” the California Republican said Tuesday in a statement, according to The Hill.
McConnell added the commission is not necessary.
“It’s not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could actually lay on top of existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress,” McConnell said, according to The Post.
“The facts have come out, they’ll continue to come out. What is clear is that House Democrats have handled this proposal in partisan bad faith going right back to the beginning, from initially offering a laughably partisan starting point to continuing to insist on various other features under the hood that are designed to centralize control over the commission’s process and its conclusions in Democratic hands.”
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said he and others were concerned that despite claims of bipartisanship, the commission would be “a political weapon in the hands of the Democrats,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“We have different members who are in different places, but I would say that there is a skepticism about what’s happening in the House right now and whether or not what comes out is a proposal that’ll be fair,” he added, The Post reported.
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota had flirted Tuesday with the notion of supporting the commission, but that idea had cooled by Wednesday.
“We’ve had a chance to hear from House leadership about what they saw in the bill. It doesn’t appear right now that they believe that it is bipartisan in nature, which to me is extremely disappointing,” Rounds said, according to Politico.
“The way that the bill is written right now, I would feel compelled to vote against it.”
Creating the commission would require 60 votes to overcome the expected filibuster. Seven Senate Republicans voted to support the Democrats’ effort to impeach former President Donald Trump based upon his role in the events of Jan. 6.
But not all of those Republicans are on board with the creation of the group.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who was among those voting against Trump, said he was worried the commission would end up being a political animal.
“A lot of the jabbering in the House — for and against this thing — seems like thinly-veiled midterm strategy. And, if that’s all this becomes, it’d be better for historians to take the long-view than for politicians to take the short-view,” he said.
Trump has also opposed the commission.
“Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission. It is just more partisan unfairness and unless the murders, riots, and fire bombings in Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, and New York are also going to be studied, this discussion should be ended immediately,” the former president said in a statement posted on his website.
“Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter, and stop being used by the Radical Left. Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!”