Last week, Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the deadly Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
The commission, which is modeled after the one that was formed to investigate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, would have been evenly divided between Democratic and Republican and required to produce a report by the end of the year.
Supporters of the commission needed 60 votes to move the legislation in the Senate. Only six Republicans voted in support of the commission — with North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis voting no, while Sen. Richard Burr was not present for the vote.
- In May, legislation to form the bipartisan commission passed in the U.S. House, with 35 House Republicans joining Democrats in backing the measure — all of North Carolina’s Republican members in the House voted against the legislation.
- In keeping with Trump’s express order Tuesday to ignore the attack on our country he incited, a majority of Senate Republicans, including Sen. Tillis, voted for the interests of their party and political careers over the truth.
On January 6th, the nation witnessed violent, armed Trump supporters storming the Capitol in an effort to subvert democracy as Trump continued to interfere with a peaceful transition of power. And through the Senate vote, we are reminded of Trump’s continuous hold on the Republican party.
Instead of uncovering the truth and seeking out justice for the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, Republicans chose to follow the marching orders of Trump, who was impeached but not convicted for inciting the rioters who stormed the Capitol that day.
What Republicans made clear with their vote on Friday is that they would rather uphold Trump’s lie and dodge efforts for accountability for what happened on Jan. 6 in hope that it works to their political advantage, than to stand up to it.
Let us not forget that three months ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Trump of “a campaign of disinformation and rage” meant “to overturn the election,” and stated that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the riot.
Yet in recent weeks, Senate Republicans have failed to perform their sworn duty appropriately, while 35 House Republicans voted in the interest of the people and in upholding the integrity of our democracy.