BY KEVIN STONE
PHOENIX – Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is urging Senate Republicans to greenlight a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A bill to authorize the probe was passed in the House last week, with 35 Republicans joining the majority Democrats, but it needs at least 10 GOP votes to get through the Senate.
Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, two moderate Democrats, issued a joint statement Tuesday calling on Republicans to “to work with us to find a path forward.”
“In the hours and days following the attack, Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned the violence and vowed to hold those responsible accountable so our Democracy will never experience an attack like this again,” the statement says.
“A bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day has passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote and is a critical step to ensuring our nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again.”
So far, only two Republican Senators have said they would approve HR 3233: Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has said she supports creating a commission if her concerns about the staffing structure and timeline are addressed.
Republicans opposing the proposed investigation say Democrats will use it as a partisan tool.
The House bill calls for Democratic congressional leaders to appoint half of the 10-member commission, including the chair, and top Republicans the other half, including the vice chair.
Federal authorities have made more than 400 arrests in connection with the events of Jan. 6, when a mob overwhelmed police and broke into the Capitol while Congress was inside certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Details released about the charges show that the attackers generally have been supporters of then-President Donald Trump, many with connections to far-right militant groups.