Dem lawmaker urges Biden to form Jan. 6 presidential committee after GOP filibuster

On Friday, 35 GOP Senators blocked a bill that would have formed a 9/11 style, bipartisan commission to investigate the events that took place January 6 at the Capitol. 

The bill was passed in the Democrat-led House, but after failing 54-35 in the Senate, some Democrats are calling on President Biden to exercise his executive authority.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), is urging Biden to form a presidential commission, even though that would essentially put to rest talk of an independent panel.

Connolly released a statement asking for Biden’s help:

“In light of the GOP’s cowardly filibuster of a bipartisan January 6th Commission, I urge President Biden to form and appoint a Presidential Commission to fully investigate the insurrection at the United States Capitol, to identify the individuals and organizations who plotted or were involved in those violent acts, and to make recommendations to prevent such an attack from ever recurring.”

Moderate Democrat Senator Joe Manchin voiced his disappointment in the bill not passing, “There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against the commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for.”

Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins,  Bill Cassidy, Rob Portman and Ben Sasse were the six Republicans to vote with Democrats. 

Other Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), see the commission as redundant and little more than a political exercise.

The bill would have established a 10-member commission with an equal number of Democrat and Republican members. If passed, the commission would have had subpoena power and aimed to issue a report on their findings at the end of the year. 

The Washington Times reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he would rather let the Justice Department and congressional investigations play out than create a new commission. He cited the 440 arrests and counting made in connection with the events that took place January 6th. 

McConnell voiced his opposition to the commission, which he has called a “purely political exercise” on the Senate floor saying he does “not believe the additional extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” he continued, “Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that.”

So far, there has been no word from the Biden administration on whether the President plans to use executive action to form a commission. 

 Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s response to the outcome of the vote while aboard Air Force One, “The president has been clear that the shameful events of Jan. 6 need to be independently and fully investigated. He remains committed to that and we will continue to work with Congress to find a path forward to ensure that happens.” The Hill reported

Following the vote on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a letter to Senate Democrats signaling that he would bring the bill back to the floor. 

Schumer’s letter read: “Senators should rest assured that the events of January 6th will be investigated and that as Majority Leader, I reserve the right to force the Senate to vote on the bill again at the appropriate time.” According to The Hill

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