Filibuster brawl amps up with GOP opposition to Jan. 6 panel

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An incredulous Senator, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Said, “What do you do if you can’t get it to work through something like an independent commission?”

“That’s their problem. You can prove how difficult life with the filibuster is if you’re not careful,” said Dick Durbin, Senate majority whip. “When the filibuster is actually used, it becomes an exhibit when it isn’t to be continued. ”

Some Republicans, like Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, can still open a debate on the law and amend it to make sure the investigation is completed this year and the commission is bipartisan. Overall, however, Senate Republicans have been quick to speak out against the commission concept this week, as it is better to fuel a commission in May 2021 than to make Trump headlines well into the middle of the year.

GOP senators aren’t exactly looking forward to the moment.

“It’s a sensitive vote. I think it’s an anti-Trump, pro-Trump vote,” said an indecisive Republican senator. “As someone who voted not to prosecute, I’m still interested in finding out , what’s happened.”

In addition, Trump has linked directly to the vote on the commission. He criticized the 35 Republicans in the House who backed it and publicly relied on the Senate GOP to defeat it. It would not escape the Democrats that Republicans are using the filibuster to help Trump avoid months of headlines about his actions that fuel the January 6 insurrection.

Democrats didn’t put it that way. Just a few days ago it seemed that the Republican Party wanted to make changes to the bipartisan commission and not block it outright.

The more prominent vote on the filibuster’s future could come this summer when the Democrats’ voting plans reach the Senate. And unlike other democratic priorities, the bipartisan commission appears to have unanimous party support.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), One of the strongest supporters of filibuster in the Democratic Party, appeared appalled that his GOP colleagues are on the right track to block the bill.

“So disheartening. They are really worried about our country, ”said Manchin. When asked if this is a filibuster abuse, “I still pray we still have 10 good, solid patriots in this conference.”

McConnell and Senate Minority Whip John Thune have not yet started twisting the guns, but the leadership has delivered a strong message that the Senate commission must be dumped if Schumer brings it up. McConnell’s close ally, Former Senate Chairman for Intelligence, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Has spoken out aggressively against the bill.

Burr, the most surprising voice for Trump’s conviction in his impeachment trial, said there couldn’t be any changes to the law to win his support.

“I know how difficult it is. So this myth that you could end this by December? You probably couldn’t even get your staff security clearance to read the documents, ”Burr said. “No question”, this would bleed in the middle.

Burr and Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) Expect the committee’s reports on the January 6 pro-Trump uprising to fall in the Capitol in June, arguing that this would obviate the need for a bipartisan commission with subpoena powers . Not all Republicans are sold in their mindset.

“I won’t worry about the party. I will worry about what’s right for the country and the Senate. And I support efforts to learn more about the January 6 attack,” said Romney. Susan Collins insisted well on the staff being non-partisan and made it clear that we really intend to be ready by the end of the year. I won’t let this go into an election year. “

Besides Burr, the other six Republicans like Romney who voted to condemn Trump are either undecided or supportive. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Strongly supported the commission.

However, it is difficult to find a way to get 60 votes without accepting more generally in the GOP that a commission is needed. Several senators reported that the dynamics in the GOP caucus room are reversed.

Additionally, it is an open question whether the Senate will complete work on Schumer’s American competitiveness legislation before its upcoming break. That means the commission vote could slip through June, which would not take advantage of the current chaos in the House’s GOP over Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) Deal with spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi on the committee of inquiry.

Blunt said Republicans could make it difficult for Schumer to quickly move to the Jan. 6 commission if Schumer tries to force a vote next week. He said Schumer’s competitiveness bill would “not succeed” if he tried to get it through to get the commission to vote.

But if Republicans blocked the Competitiveness Act, it would also be the first filibuster in this Congress. Progressives are itching to start the filibuster fight, regardless of which bill leads the first of this Congress.

“When we get to a point where compromise, non-partisanship no longer works and what we need to do is basically delaying, we have to face the filibuster problem,” said Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “I would like to see it dealt with now.”

Marianne Levine contributed to this report.

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