The six GOP senators who backed Jan. 6 commission bill

An unsuccessful bid to create a commission probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol garnered the support of six GOP senators on Friday.

Most Republican senators opposed the House-passed bill, marking the first successful filibuster of the 117th Congress.

But the support for advancing the House-passed legislation comes even as GOP leadership whipped hard against the bill, arguing it would be a distraction heading into the 2022 election. Thirty-five Republicans supported it in the House.

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Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) missed Friday's vote due to a family commitment, but a spokesperson said he would have voted in favor of advancing the bill in order to consider changes. That would have given it a seventh GOP vote.

Here are the Republican senators who voted to advance the bill:

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries GOP centrists call on Schumer to delay infrastructure vote MORE (La.)

Cassidy, who voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection earlier this year, was the GOP senator who appeared most inclined to support the bill, even as he held out until the last minute from announcing how he would vote.

In a statement, Cassidy argued that the investigations would happen with or without Republicans. So "to ensure the investigations are fair, impartial, and focused on the facts, Republicans need to be involved,” he said.

The senator also suggested that an independent commission would be more likely to look at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' MORE (D-Calif.) and Capitol security on Jan. 6 compared to a potential House investigation.

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Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE (Maine)

Collins was the third GOP senator to voice support for the House-passed bill.

She worked behind the scenes to try to shore up the support of GOP senators, including Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (Ohio). Collins was spotted huddling with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden administration stokes frustration over Canada Schumer blasts McCarthy for picking people who 'supported the big lie' for Jan. 6 panel Biden's belated filibuster decision: A pretense of principle at work MORE (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor on Friday.

Schumer told reporters that Collins asked him to tell Portman that Democrats were backing the amendment Collins had drafted to the House-passed bill, which would have changed the legislative language on staffing and tried to ensure the commission would not go beyond its year-end deadline.


Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Schumer sets up Wednesday infrastructure showdown MORE (Alaska)

Murkowski was the second GOP senator to announce support the bill.

Unlike the handful of other Senate Republicans who voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE earlier this year and voted in support of the Jan. 6 commission, Murkowski is the only one who is up for reelection next year. Trump has already pledged to wage a vigorous campaign against her.

Murkowski bristled at concerns, voiced by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellS.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Business groups urge lawmakers to stick with bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (Ky.) and Republicans, that the commission could hurt the party going into 2022, urging her colleagues to look beyond one election cycle.

"To be making a decision for the short-term political gain at the expense of understanding and acknowledging what was in front of us on January 6, I think we need to look at that critically," Murkowski told reporters.


Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)

Portman was the only GOP senator in support of the House-passed bill who had previously voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial earlier this year.

Portman, who is not seeking reelection next year, held out from telling reporters for days how he would vote on the commission bill.

The Ohio senator, who is overseeing a separate Jan. 6 investigation by the Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, said he thought an independent commission could build on his panel's report, due for release next month, and "ensure a complete picture for the American people, including why the attack occurred and who was involved."

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Portman said that while he voted to advance the bill, he would have only supported it on final passage with "some common-sense changes to ensure the commission is non-partisan and fair."


Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (Utah)

Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, became the first GOP senator to voice support for the House-passed bill.

Romney, the only Senate Republican to vote for one of the articles of impeachment against Trump in 2020, has warned that the Jan. 6 attack — where subsequently released video footage showed him being directed back to the Senate chamber as rioters broke into the Capitol — could fundamentally hurt democracy around the world.

“I think the attack on the building was a very severe attack on democracy and is having shockwaves around the world and will change the trajectory in the world with regards to authoritarianism versus democracy,” Romney told reporters this week. 


Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSasse calls China's Xi a 'coward' after Apple Daily arrest Defunct newspaper's senior editor arrested in Hong Kong Murkowski: Trump has 'threatened to do a lot' to those who stand up to him MORE (Neb.)

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Sasse, considered a 2024 White House contender, pointed to an independent commission as something that could help "rebuild some public trust" in the wake of the attack and growing partisan divides in the country.

"I think that, if done right, a truly bipartisan commission could complement the work being done in the ongoing criminal investigations. The American people deserve a full account of what happened," Sasse said in a statement.

Updated at 2:35 p.m.