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Democrat leader Chuck Schumer (NY).

Senate could vote today on controversial commission to investigate January 6

Missouri’s Senator Roy Blunt opposes forming a commission to examine the capitol breach on January 6. He’s not alone given the history of investigations “gone wild” during the last four years.

“I think it’s too early to create a commission, and I believe Republicans in the Senate will decide that it’s too early to create that commission,” Missouri Senator Roy Blunt stated on Fox News. His remarks come ahead of a scheduled vote in the Senate this week after the House approved a bill last week to proceed with establishing such an investigative body.

The commission, which would feature 10 members, five appointed by Republicans and five by Democrats, would be modeled on the commission that probed the 9/11 terror attacks which Democrats have compared the capitol breach. That commission lasted two years. Its aim would be to investigate factors that contributed to the breach, including how technology, including “online platforms, financing and malign foreign influence operations and campaigns may have factored into the motivation, organization and execution” of the incident.

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer alluded to political motivations of Democrats on Tuesday, saying “I’m sorry that it may be bad politics for Republicans in their midterm campaigns.”

Blunt is just one of many who think it won’t move the conversation forward. The commission is opposed by other high-ranking Republicans who believe it will be political theater by Democrats bent on portraying all Republican voters as “insurgents” bent on overthrowing the government. And if it does take place, many Republicans say the commission should investigate a broader range of instances of political violence such as Antifa and BLM who were involved in attacks on dozens of federal buildings and court houses and police headquarters last year. Attacks, they say, that really did attempt to overthrow local public safety or federal authority.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was roundly attacked in the media for his announcement last week that he opposed the commission. “What are the other things that happened as well? With Antifa, and others, I think there should be a lot of investigations,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Republicans also say that Democrats have exploited the post-Jan. 6 atmosphere to fuel claims about an “insider threat” from GOP lawmakers and label all Republican voters as terrorist threats.

Most Republicans in the lower chamber voted against the bill, although 35 crossed the aisle. The measure now faces an uncertain fate in the evenly divided Senate, with Democrats needing at least 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster. Blunt said he is against forming a commission because of concerns over delays and effectiveness.

In the Senate, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who has been considered a potential “yes” vote for the commission, changed to a “no.” Maine Sen. Susan Collins, one of a handful of Republicans who has shown a willingness, on occasion, to buck her party, said that she wouldn’t support the bill unless its work was guaranteed to be concluded before 2022.

But it was Senator Mitch McConnell who ultimately holds the power.

“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January 6th,” said McConnell on the Senate floor. “As everybody surely knows, I repeatedly made my views about the events of January 6th very clear. I spoke clearly and left no doubt about my conclusions.”

“I’ve actually opposed the idea of a commission from the very first, because I think we’ll start waiting for a commission rather than moving forward with what we know we need to do now,” he said. “There’s a bipartisan effort in the Senate with two committees to produce not only a report but also a number of recommendations, and we should be able to do that in the first full week of June, and we haven’t even waited for that to decide what a commission should do.”

Former President Donald Trump has also spoken out against the commission, saying in a statement that Republicans in both congressional chambers “should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 commission,” calling the initiative from Democrats “just more partisan unfairness.”

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, McConnell’s deputy in leadership, told CNN’s Manu Raju last week that “Anything that gets us rehashing the 2020 elections I think is a day lost on being able to draw a contrast between us and the Democrats’ very radical left-wing agenda.”

–Alan Goforth and Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice