Republican senators block commission on assault on the US Capitol.
Miami World – AP
Republican senators on Friday blocked the formation of a bipartisan panel to investigate the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol, rejecting the independent inquiry in a show of loyalty to former President Donald Trump and in an attempt to divert attention from the uprising. violence perpetrated by his followers.
The Senate vote was 54 votes in favor and 35 against, six less than the 60 votes needed to ratify a bill approved by the lower house that would have created a commission of 10 members, five from each party. On the eve, the agents who fought the mob, the relatives of a dead policeman and legislators from both parties who fled together before the irruption asked for it to be approved.
Six Republicans voted along with Democrats in favor of the bill and 11 senators missed the session, some arguing they had scheduling problems. The vote means that questions about responsibility for the attacks will continue to be filtered through partisan lenses, rather than having the answers of an independent panel modeled after the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The commission’s Jan.6 bill had the support of nearly three dozen Republicans in the lower house, but the majority of the party’s senators said it would be used to attack them politically. Additionally, Trump – who still controls the party with a firm hand – has described it as a “Democratic trap.”
The leader of the Democratic bloc, Chuck Schumer, said after the vote that his Republican colleagues “try to sweep the horrors of that day under the carpet” out of loyalty to Trump. Schumer left open the possibility of a new vote in the future and assured that the events of January 6 will be investigated.
The vote reflects the deep mistrust that reigns in Congress since the siege, which deepened divisions even as lawmakers from both parties fled the mob together.
The events of January 6 are increasing tension among Republicans, some of whom have played down the violence and defended the insurgents who supported Trump and his baseless argument that they stole the election.
Although he initially said he accepted the commission’s idea, the leader of the Republican senatorial bloc, Mitch McConnell, has recently expressed the opinion that it would be a biased investigation, despite the fact that the panel would be made up of an equal number of members of the two parties.