Collins, seeking changes, will back Jan. 6 bill on key vote

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will vote for a House-passed bill to create a commission to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol attack during a key test vote that will take place as soon as Thursday.

Collins will support the bill during an initial hurdle so that she can offer an amendment making changes to the legislation, an aide confirmed to The Hill.

“I want to see a commission. … There are a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m working very hard to secure Republican votes for a commission,” Collins told reporters earlier Wednesday.

Her comments make Collins the third GOP senator to say they will support the bill during an initial vote, where it will need 60 votes to move forward.

Most Republicans are deeply opposed to the bill, and it’s expected to fall short of the 10 Republican senators needed to move forward.

GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah) are the two other Republicans in the upper chamber who have said they will support the House bill. The legislation garnered the support of 35 GOP lawmakers when it passed on the other side of the Capitol.

Collins is shopping changes to the House bill to address two of Republicans’ biggest stated concerns: That Democrats would be able to hire all the staff, and that it could stretch into 2022, where Republicans are worried it would damage their standing heading into midterm elections.

Collins, based on text obtained by The Hill, wants to change the language so that the chair and vice chair of the commission would jointly appoint staff, rather than the chair “in consultation with” the vice chair.

In the event that the two cannot agree on staff, Collins wants to include language that would let both the chair and vice chair of the commission hire their own staff.

The bill already includes a requirement that the commission submit its final report no later than the end of the year.

Collins is also proposing changing when the commission would formally disband. The House bill gives the commission 60 days after it submits its final report, however, Collins wants to propose changing it to 30 days.

The House bill also allows the commission to use that 60 day period for concluding its activities including testifying before Congress. Collins will propose a period of 30 days. 

Tags Capitol attack Capitol insurrection House bill Jan. 6 commission Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney Susan Collins
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