Senate Republicans on Friday halted an effort to form a Jan. 6 commission to investigate the Capitol attack, marking the first successful legislative filibuster mounted by the GOP minority.
The legislation needed 60 votes Friday to overcome a GOP filibuster, but Republicans blocked the legislation from advancing during a procedural vote. The vote was 54 to 35. Just six Republicans joined with Democrats: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rob Portman of Ohio.
The House already passed legislation on May 19 to form the independent panel with support from 35 Republicans, despite opposition from former President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
But the legislation faced an uphill climb in the 50-50 split Senate, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also opposing the commission. McConnell argued there are already enough investigations into the Jan. 6 attack.
“I do not believe the additional, extraneous ‘commission’ that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” McConnell said Thursday. “Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to.”
The GOP filibuster Friday on the Jan. 6 commission Friday means the legislation is likely dead for now. But its failure will be sure to intensify pressure on Democrats to abolish the legislative filibuster altogether and just require a simple majority vote to advance future legislation.
6 Republican senators voted with the Democrats in favor of a January 6 commission. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rob Portman (R-OH).