Schumer Says Senate to Vote ‘Soon’ on Probe of Jan. 6 Attacks
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed the Senate will vote “soon” on House-passed legislation for a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, but he set no deadline as GOP leaders have lined up in opposition.
“Our Republican colleagues must now ask themselves: are they going to join us in pursuing the truth, or are they going to cover for Donald Trump and his big lie,” Schumer said, referring to the former president’s false clams that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
The legislation passed the House Wednesday on a 251-175 vote, with 35 GOP lawmakers breaking with Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who urged Republicans to reject it.
Chances for Senate passage dropped significantly earlier in the day when Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said he also would oppose an independent review of the circumstances around the siege by a mob of Trump supporters who disrupted the certification of electoral votes. Although some Senate Republicans have said they are open to such a commission, Schumer would need at least 10 GOP votes to move forward.
McConnell and McCarthy both cited existing law enforcement and congressional investigations into the Jan. 6 riot, saying a separate inquiry is unnecessary. McCarthy on Tuesday said an inquiry should also look at other “political violence,” referring to unrest in some cities amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality last summer.
The commission legislation was the result of a compromise worked out by Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and the panel’s top Republican, John Katko of New York, and designed to address GOP objections to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s original plan. But it turned into another test of Republican loyalty to Trump.
Neither McConnell nor McCarthy mentioned Trump, who called the commission a “Democrat trap” and urged Republicans to “get much tougher and much smarter.”
Senate Republican Whip John Thune said it isn’t clear yet whether any Republicans senators will back the measure, although some have said they want to examine it. It can’t clear the Senate, which is split 50-50 between the political parties, unless at least 10 Republicans decide to support advancing it to the floor.
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