Murkowski to back Jan. 6 commission bill
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Tuesday became the second Senate Republican to say she will support a House-passed bill to establish a bipartisan commission on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which could come to the floor for a vote this week.
“I’m going to support it,” Murkowski told reporters when asked about whether she will vote for the bill that passed with 35 Republican votes in the House last week.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the first Republican to announce his support for the bill on Monday.
A third Republican centrist, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), says she supports setting up a bipartisan commission but is working to make changes to address what she calls “flaws” in the House bill.
“I see a need for a commission and am working to correct flaws in the House bill. I strongly support a commission,” she said.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he hopes to vote on the Jan. 6 legislation this week even though senators are now in the midst of a contentious debate over how to proceed on a China competitiveness bill that is a Schumer priority and that he hoped to have the Senate pass before the Memorial Day recess.
“We hope to vote this week,” Schumer said of the Jan. 6 commission bill on Tuesday.
Schumer has pledged several times over the past week to force Republicans to vote on it.
The measure needs 60 votes — or the support of at least 10 Republicans — to overcome an expected filibuster.
“The formation of the commission is more important now than it’s ever been. In the months since Jan. 6, Washington Republicans have tried to rewrite history and recast the attack of Jan. 6 as little more than peaceful protests that got out of hand,” the Democratic leader said on the floor Monday.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is another Republican who has said he is inclined to support the establishment of a bipartisan commission to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob angry over President Trump’s loss in the 2020 election.
Cassidy said Tuesday he agrees with Collins that changes should be made to the House bill.
“I know it’s going to take a little bit of evolution, so I’d like to see what that evolution looks like,” he said. “I think we could address concerns and make it a lot easier for folks to support it.”
But even if Collins and Cassidy join Murkowski and Romney in voting to proceed to the bill, Schumer still needs to find six more GOP votes.
Other key Republicans, such as Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who voted to convict Trump on an article of impeachment in Feb., are undecided about whether to support the House bill to set up a bipartisan commission.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), another Republican who voted to convict Trump, has said he opposes the House bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the House bill a “slanted and unbalanced position” last week, setting the course for most Republicans in his conference.
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