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Republicans block bipartisan panel to investigate Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol

Capitol riot
Posted at 7:34 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 12:27:22-04

Republicans in the Senate blocked efforts to establish a bipartisan panel to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

A motion to open debate on the Jan. 6 commission failed by a vote of 54 in favor to 35 against, with 11 abstentions. The motion needed 60 votes to pass.

Just six Republicans crossed the aisle and voted to move forward with the commission: Sens. Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Republican colleagues, accusing them of attempting to sweep the riot under the rug in service of former President Donald Trump.

"We all know what's going on here," Schumer said. "Senate Republicans chose to defend the 'big lie' because they believe anything that might upset Donald Trump could hurt them politically"

Lawmakers had hoped to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly riots, which took place when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in the hopes of delaying the Electoral College certification of the 2020 election.

However, Republican lawmakers had voiced opposition to the commission. CNN and Politico report that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell privately lobbied his Republican colleagues to oppose the commission earlier this week.

The opposition comes even as relatives of Officer Brian Sicknick — a Capitol Police officer who fought with protesters and died of a stroke days after the incident — pleaded with Republicans to back the creation of the commission. Other Capitol Police officers also urged Senators to support the commission.

The Associated Press reports that the vote on the commission was scheduled to take place on Thursday evening but was eventually bumped to Friday after Republicans voiced opposition to another bill.

This story is breaking and will be updated.