US Senate Votes to Block Panel to Probe Capitol Riot

Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked legislation Friday that called for the creation of a bipartisan panel to investigate the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump to prevent the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory.As expected, Republicans used a procedural tactic known as a filibuster to block the bill, which would have launched a bipartisan investigation into the insurrection. It was the first successful use of a filibuster during the Biden presidency to stop Senate legislative action.The 54-35 vote was shy of the 60 votes need to advance the measure.Because the 100-member Senate is equally divided, Democrats needed 10 Republicans to vote in favor of the bill.In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 13, 2021.That was unlikely because many Republican senators remain loyal to Trump and followed the guidance of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who opposed the commission.McConnell, who once said Trump was responsible for “provoking” the riot, more recently dismissed the legislation as nothing more than a “political exercise” since Senate committees are already investigating Capitol security shortcomings.US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 18, 2021.After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that “Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate. Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and country less safe.”“Democrats worked across the aisle, agreeing to everything that Republicans asked for. We did this in the interest of achieving a bipartisan Commission. In not taking yes for an answer, Republicans clearly put their election concerns above the security of the Congress and country,” Pelosi added.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas acknowledged in a statement Friday that the “January 6 terrorist attack on the Capitol was a dark moment in our nation’s history, and I fully support the ongoing law enforcement investigations into anyone involved. Everyone who attacked the Capitol must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and brought to justice. I also support the Senate committees of jurisdiction who are exercising their proper oversight roles to provide an in-depth and complete account of the attack.”He said, though, that “with multiple investigations already underway, I do not support the politically motivated January 6 Commission led by Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi.”On January 6, Trump implored thousands of supporters who had come to Washington for a protest rally “to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat shortly before the riot that left five people dead, including a federal police officer.A vote on the measure had been expected Thursday but was delayed by lengthy consideration of another bill.The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which has 435 voting members, previously passed the legislation with some Republican support.


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