Senate Republicans filibuster Jan. 6 commission, likely dooming independent investigation

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a bill that would form an independent commission to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the first filibuster of the year by the chamber’s 50-vote minority.

The 54-35 vote, with six Republicans breaking ranks to join every Democrat in favor, came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lobbied his members forcefully against the House-passed commission measure. The vote was delayed through the night by a handful of Senate Republicans who obstructed China competitiveness legislation, though Democrats decided to punt that bill until after the Memorial Day recess week in order to push forward on the commission bill.

Several undecided Republicans came down against advancing the commission ahead of Friday’s critical procedural vote, despite efforts by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to broker a compromise and last-minute lobbying by the family of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. McConnell took an increasingly hard public and private line against establishing the new panel to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by pro-Trump insurrectionists, dubbing the commission idea “extraneous” on Thursday.

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