Moderate Democrats Beg Republican Colleagues To Support Creation of Jan. 6 Commission

Illustration for article titled Moderate Democrats Beg Republican Colleagues To Support Creation of Jan. 6 Commission
Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via AP, Pool (AP)

Moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin III and Kyrsten Sinema are working to get Republicans on board with their plan to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol building. Manchin and Sinema’s plan, which is modeled after the bipartisan panel that studied the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, would task a 10 person commission with investigating the attack on the Capitol, as well as the number of security failures that even made the riot possible. The panel would then be expected to produce a report of its findings, along with recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future.

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Manchin and Sinema are working to gather up the 10 Republican votes they’ll need in order to get the bill through the Senate without it being blocked by a filibuster—something that would likely increase the pressure on the two pro-filibuster Democratic senators to join many of their fellow Democrats in trying change the rules of the filibuster. Although a few Republican Senators are willing to support the creation of the Jan. 6 commission as is, others want Manchin and Sinema to alter the bill’s language to give Republicans more say in the staffing of the committee, and to ensure that the commission’s work would be finished before 2022—which just so happens to be an election year. However, even if those changes are made, it’s still far from clear whether the legislation would gain enough Republican support in order to pass.

Unsurprisingly, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell does not see the need to look any further into the Jan. 6 riots. He claims that this proposed commission is just Democrats trying to “debate things that occurred in the past.” “They would like to continue to litigate the former president into the future,” McConnell said. “We think the American people going forward and in the fall of ’22 ought to focus on what this administration is doing to the country.”

It’s actually funny that McConnell somehow thinks that Biden’s administrative decisions will be more damning than those of the former president, despite the fact that even the lawyers defending the white supremacists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 are now claiming their clients would not have been incited to action without Trump’s encouragement. But sure, it’s the Biden administration’s decision to expand child tax credits and raise thousands of children out of poverty that will be the nail in his electoral coffin.

Freelance writer & night blogger at Jezebel. Lover of television, astrology, and sandwiches.

DISCUSSION

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Let’s review what happened here. Kevin McCarthy, the number one Republican in the House, delegated authority to a member of his caucus, John Katko, to negotiate on behalf of Republicans. Katko did well; Nancy Pelosi and Democrats, despite having a majority and public sentiment on their side, caved on nearly every demand Republicans had, including making the commission split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. When they announced they had reached a deal, which was again very favorable to Republicans, McCarthy came out against the deal negotiated by his own hand picked negotiator. Then, McConnell, who got a lot of positive press for supposedly condemning Trump in a speech following his vote NOT to convict Trump, also came out against the deal.

This is what bipartisanship looks like to Republicans. Their own supporters attack the capitol to try to stop the functioning of democracy and install Trump, who instigated the attack with his lies and who was coddled by Republicans in the first place, in a coup. When Democrats reasonably want to investigate, and give in to nearly every Republican demand to achieve that, Republicans still walk away, spreading lies and bad faith bullshit along the way. To Republicans bipartisanship means they can lose elections and still demand that Democrats cater to them, and when Democrats do, walk away and lie about Democrats efforts. I hope all the people negotiating with Republicans over infrastructure and police reform are watching. You will give Republicans everything they want (which in the case of infrastructure not only means making the bill worse but making it far less popular), and then after they shake your hand they will turn around and tell everyone who will listen that the plan they just agreed to is radical socialism that funds Hamas and rips children from their mothers’ womb.