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Many Republican senators have stood out against passing the bill, citing already existing committees probing those events and the need to "move forward" instead of focusing on past events.
U.S. Senators have blocked the discussion of a bill intended to create a bipartisan 10-member commission to investigate the events that shook Washington DC last January 6th. With the support of only 54 Senators and 35 objecting, the bill needed to gather the support of at least 60 members of the upper chamber of Congress to be passed.
A total of six Republicans supported the motion to consider the bill, and all the Democrats present. However, many Senators were absent during the vote, including two Democrats. It was expected that all Democrats in the Senate would vote in favor of the bill, which had earlier passed the House with the support of practically all Democrats and several Republicans.
The GOP's filibuster of the measure, an archaic procedure that prevents bills from moving forward to a vote without the support of at least 60 senators, was anticipated in light of the opposition of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and very few Republicans supporting it. McConnell argued that several congressional committees are already investigating the events and an ongoing federal probe, which had already identified over 440 people responsible for the riot.
In addition, Republicans expressed concerns that the proposed 6 January commission will fail to wrap up before the end of 2021, a deadline set in the bill, thus potentially influencing the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections.
"If Senate Republicans can block an independent commission investigating a deadly armed attack on the Capitol because it might hurt their poll numbers with insurrectionists, then something is badly wrong with the Senate," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted following the vote. "We must get rid of the filibuster to protect our democracy."
The 6 January Commission is to be styled after the one established to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. It is supposed to look into what caused a large group of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol building on the day lawmakers were about to validate Joe Biden's electoral victory. Democrats and some Republicans blamed then-President Donald Trump and his speech at a rally on the same day for prompting the attack on Congress, which left several people dead, primarily protesters themselves.
Former President Donald Trump vehemently denied the notion that he riled up the mob attacking the Capitol and later condemned the violence that ensued. He was subsequently impeached by the House for a second time on charges of inciting insurrection but managed to avoid conviction in the Senate because more than a simple majority of votes was needed. Several Republican senators later admitted that despite everything, they believe Trump was somehow responsible for the events of that day.
#UnitedStates | Despite the protests by U.S. citizens demanding reforms in police organizations, more than a thousand people have lost their lives due to police violence in the United States.https://t.co/iyqF4UAxSC