U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has gone on the record to say that he would support Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposal for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol that was passed in the House last week.
And while this makes Romney the first GOP senator to say he would vote for the bill, it comes as little surprise considering he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in February for allegedly inciting the so-called insurrection — one of seven Republicans to do so.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., vowed to hold a vote on the House bill and began taking steps last week to get the bill to the floor, but he needs 60 votes to start debate on the legislation.
On that note, Romney reportedly told the media, “I would support the bill.”
Mitt Romney, who had expressed some reservations of the Jan. 6 commission bill, just told me he would be a YES if the bill came forward for a vote.
“I would support the bill.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 24, 2021
The Utah senator recently called the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol an “insurrection against the Constitution,” using the term employed on the left to claim there was an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government.
“I was there,” Romney said. “What happened was a violent effort to interfere with and prevent the constitutional order of installing a new president.”
Sen. Mitt Romney told me that it’s more important to probe what happened on Jan. 6 than other incidents, like the protests from last summer, as House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy wants.
“I think the area of inquiry that is most critical relates to the attack on the Capitol.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 18, 2021
Romney didn’t indicate how he would vote on the final passage of the House bill if the filibuster was successfully broken. Final passage only requires a simple majority and would be all but assured.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has come out in opposition to the 9/11-style commission, arguing that it would be a duplication of ongoing Congressional investigations.
“It’s not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could lay on top of the existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress,” he said last week.
McConnell’s remarks suggest a filibuster looms, with 60 votes required to break it — this would be the first bill in the 117th Congress to be blocked by a filibuster.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” that she supported the establishment of an independent commission to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“I strongly support the creation of an independent commission,” she said. “I believe there are many unanswered questions about the attacks on the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Collins, who also voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power, expressed optimism that the House bill could pass in the Senate if Democrats assure a bipartisan make up of staff and agree on the commission wrapping up by the end of the year.
And while Democrats are hopeful more anti-Trump Republicans join in, they are a long way from 60 votes.
So we have Romney, Collins… maybe Murkowski.
What’s the over/under on getting 7 more GOP Senators to break the filibuster of the 1/6 commission?
— Pam Keith, Esq. (@PamKeithFL) May 24, 2021
Trump, who is still seen as a leader of the Republican Party, ripped the “35 wayward Republicans” who voted with Democrats in support of the House bill.
“Democrats stick together, the Republicans don’t,” the former president said in a statement. “They don’t have the Romney’s, Little Ben Sasse’s, and Cheney’s of the world. Unfortunately, we do.”
He also suggested there may be “consequences” for those who back the commission.
“Sometimes there are consequences to being ineffective and weak,” the release said. “The voters understand!”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville told me just now he’s opposed to the Jan. 6 commission “until they make it bipartisan.”
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 24, 2021
Mittens Romney is an insufferable fraud.
— thebradfordfile (@thebradfordfile) May 25, 2021
Romney will be out in 2024. Utah is done with him.
— John C. Barry (@ShrinkGov) May 25, 2021
Romney knows it is going to be filibustered out of existence.
But it’s a way for him to score some points as a “moderate.”
— Toad Heartbreak (@toadheartbreak) May 24, 2021
Of course https://t.co/Oi2AitLOt7
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) May 25, 2021
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