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Manchin blasts McConnell for playing politics on Jan. 6 bill

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Memo: The center strikes back Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE (D-W.Va.) on Thursday blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms MORE (R-Ky.) for playing politics over a bill establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Manchin issued a strongly worded statement saying there was “no excuse” for Republicans to vote against the commission and accused McConnell of blocking the commission to help the GOP avoid the topic ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when the Senate majority will be in play.

“There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against the commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,” Manchin said.

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“Mitch McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 elections. They do not believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear,” he said.

The statement comes ahead of an expected vote on the legislation, which could come as soon as Thursday.

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McConnell said Wednesday that Democrats were pushing the commission to keep former President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE in the spotlight.

McConnell has blasted the House proposal as “slanted and unbalanced,” leading other Senate Republicans to oppose the provision.

Just two Senate Republicans have said they will vote for the bill: Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (Utah) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (Alaska). Both voted to convict former President Trump for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Maine), who also voted to convict Trump, said she would vote to advance the bill so that she could propose an amendment to make changes to the bill.

That would leave the bill short of the votes needed to break a filibuster.

Manchin told reporters Thursday, however, that he would not nix the filibuster to pass the bill to form the commission. 

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (D-Ariz.) pressed their GOP colleagues on Tuesday to work with them on a bipartisan path to creating a commission investigating the events of Jan. 6.