Republicans in the United States Senate effectively blocked on Friday a bipartisan effort to create an independent investigation of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that had sought to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Six Republicans broke with their party in the 54-to-35 vote, but it was still six votes shy of the 60 needed because of a procedural filibuster. All Democractic senators voted for the commission, including Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
“It’s critical to our democracy that we conduct a thorough, independent investigation around the deadly January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—yet Senate Republicans just blocked this bipartisan bill,” Booker said on Twitter. “This obstruction is unacceptable—we need answers.”
Menendez said in a statement that Republicans “have chosen fealty to Donald Trump over their oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, lies over truth, party over country, authoritarianism over democracy, and the self-interests of one man over the well-being of the American people.”
“It’s clear my Republican colleagues take their marching orders from Mar-a-Lago and not from the people they were elected to represent,” Menendez added. “The only question I have for those who stand opposed to the. #Jan6Commission: What are you afraid of?”
Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ11), who represents the district that includes Verona, was equally blunt:
“I’ve been fighting for the creation of this commission since the attack on the Capitol took place. It’s bipartisan, it’s independent, and it’s necessary to confront what happened that day to build a more resilient democracy and heal as a nation.
“It is unconscionable that so many Senators would fail to uphold their oath to the Constitution by opposing this commission. They’ve failed in their duty to the country, they’ve failed in their duty to Congress, and they’ve failed in their obligation to the Capitol Police, Congressional staff, and other Members whose lives were threatened on January 6th.
“As a veteran, a former federal prosecutor, and now a Member of Congress, I’ve taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution many times. It is powerful and meaningful every single time. Every Senator and Representative has taken the same oath. To see these Senators fail to live up to that promise is disgraceful.”