‘Politics is Trump’: Furious reaction as Republicans vote down Capitol riot commission

‘I’m very very disappointed, very frustrated that politics is Trump, literally and figuratively,’ centrist Democrat Joe Manchin says

Nathan Place
New York
Friday 28 May 2021 22:16
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<p>Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the vote</p>

Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the vote

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Democrats and moderate Republicans were left seething after GOP senators blocked the creation of a commission to investigate the 6 January Capitol riot.

“I’m very very disappointed, very frustrated that politics is Trump, literally and figuratively,” centrist Democratic senator Joe Manchin told Forbes after the vote.

Rep Liz Cheney, meanwhile, thanked the Republicans who did vote for the bill.

“Thank you to Senators Cassidy, Collins, Murkowski, Portman, Sasse, and Romney for voting for truth and defence of our constitution,” tweeted the embattled congresswoman, who has faced blowback within her party for opposing Donald Trump’s lies. “History will remember those who put country ahead of politics.”

The bill, which would have established a bipartisan investigation similar to the 9/11 Commission, fell six votes short of the 60 needed to pass the Senate. The vote was largely along partisan lines, with 35 Republicans voting against it and nine Republicans not voting at all.

Democratic leaders in Congress were furious.

“What are you afraid of, the truth?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asked his GOP colleagues in a scathing speech. “Are you afraid that Donald Trump’s big lie will be dispelled?”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made similar comments on Twitter.

“Republicans are scared of the truth,” she wrote. “What are they hiding?”

The 6 January mob attack was largely motivated by the lie – sometimes called the “Big Lie” – that the 2020 election had been stolen. Former President Trump propagated that fiction for months, including in an incendiary speech to his supporters just before they attacked Congress.

The proposed commission would have investigated the origins of that attack, and how to prevent similar violence in the future. Some Senate Republicans – namely, the six thanked by Ms Cheney – supported that mission. But most, including their leader, did not. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly asked his caucus to vote down the bill as a “personal favour” to him.

“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate,” Ms Pelosi wrote in a longer statement. “Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe.”

Ms Pelosi added that Senate Democrats had agreed to “everything that Republicans asked for” to make sure the commission was bipartisan, but the GOP voted against it anyway.

“In not taking yes for an answer, Republicans clearly put their election concerns above the security of the Congress and country,” she wrote.

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