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Congressional Democrats are gearing up for a one-sided investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to announce this week whether she’ll appoint a select committee made up of Democrats to examine the cause and impact of the hundreds of pro-Trump rioters who broke into the building to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Last month, most House and Senate Republicans rejected a measure that would have created a bipartisan, independent commission to examine the riot. Instead, Republicans argued it would be used as a political weapon against the GOP and is no longer necessary because of other investigations into the incident.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, is still seeking an agreement on a bipartisan commission, according to her spokesman Drew Hammill.
But Republican buy-in appears increasingly unlikely.
While the House Democratic majority easily passed legislation creating a commission, the measure failed in the Senate, in which a 60-vote threshold for legislation requires 10 Republican votes to pass.
Senate Republicans rejected the commission even after Democrats promised to make changes proposed by centrist Republican Susan Collins of Maine to ensure bipartisanship.
Senate Democrats considered bringing up the commission vote a second time, but that has not happened so far.
While Pelosi has not made up her mind, other House Democrats said Wednesday she is likely to give up and appoint a select committee on her own.
Pelosi told fellow Democrats Wednesday she’d wait until the end of the week to see if Senate Republicans would agree to pass a bill creating the bipartisan commission.
But the Senate is expected to leave town on Thursday for a two-week recess, and it’s unlikely the vote tally will change if Democrats bring up the measure again.
Senate Republicans blocked the bipartisan commission in a May 28 vote, with only six GOP yeas: Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who were also among the seven Senate Republicans convicting President Donald Trump on the impeachment charge he incited the riot.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, retiring after the 2022 elections, also voted with the Democrats.
Republicans opposing the commission said the Justice Department is already investigating the riots and has made many arrests, and two separate Senate committees conducted their own inquiries.
But Democrats say Congress requires further investigation and accuse Republicans of voting against the commission to avoid incurring the wrath of Trump, who remains active on the political scene and is still popular among Republican voters.
The commission bill was authored by House Democrats and Republican John Katko of New York, who voted to impeach Trump on charges he incited the riot.
In addition to Katko, 34 House Republicans voted in favor of the commission while 175 opposed it.
“We're a coalition of people trying to get things done on behalf of the American people and defend our democracy,” said House Democratic Caucus Committee Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. “And far too many of them are part of a cult, where they're still bending the knee to Donald Trump.”
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Original Author: Susan Ferrechio