House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week that she would aim to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after GOP senators blocked the formation of an independent commission. The House is set to vote on the Pelosi’s resolution soon in the chamber.
A crucial Senate vote on a bill to create an independent inquiry to investigate Capitol riot failed on May 28, falling short of the 10 Republican votes needed to advance and illustrating GOP efforts to move on from the insurrection that left five people dead and injured 140 police officers.
The vote was 54 to 35, showing the bill had a bipartisan majority of support with six Republicans voting with Democrats. However, the bill needed 60 votes to advance.
The six GOP senators who backed the bill were: Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Nine Republican senators and two Democrats didn’t vote.
The Republican opposition highlighted the hold former President Trump still has on most of his party, and underscores the deep partisan divide surrounding the fallout of the attack on the US Capitol, a point Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made following the vote.
The tally of Republican supporters was one fewer than the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial earlier this year.
What the commission would have done: The commission would have attempted to find bipartisan consensus. According to the bill, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate evenly split the selection of its 10 members.
A subpoena can only be issued to compel witness testimony if it has the support of the majority of members, or if the commission’s chairperson, chosen by Democrats, and the vice-chairperson, chosen by Republicans, come to an agreement.
The commission would have been also required to submit to the President and Congress a final report by the end of 2021 and dissolve 60 days thereafter — about nine months before the 2022 elections.
Read more about the Senate vote here.