Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has noted to fellow Senate Democrats that he could bring the bill to create an independent commission to investigate the Capitol riot back up for a vote. That bill failed, for the time being, on Friday after Senate Republicans banded together to launch a successful filibuster against the measure. Under Senate filibuster rules, most legislation requires 60 votes to move to a final vote, but a total of just 54 Senators in the 100-member chamber voted in favor of advancing the riot investigation bill.
In a Friday letter to Senate Democrats, Schumer wrote as follows:
‘Senators should rest assured that the events of January 6th will be investigated and that as Majority Leader, I reserve the right to force the Senate to vote on the bill again at the appropriate time.’
Only six Republican Senators voted in favor of advancing the bill to create the investigative commission in question. Excuses from the Senate Republicans who voted against moving forward with the measure varied, but in remarks on the Senate floor, Schumer called them out as capitulating to the whims of Donald Trump. An independent commission looking into the riot could, of course, shine a damaging light on the former president, whose lies about the integrity of last year’s presidential election inspired the violence.
Saying that Republicans in the Senate are in “fear or fealty to Donald Trump,” Schumer added as follows on the floor of the chamber:
‘This vote has made it official. Donald Trump’s big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party. Trump’s big lie is now the defining principle of what was once the party of Lincoln.’
Many Republican leaders inside and outside of the House and Senate have refused to systematically distance themselves from Trump’s continued election lies. When Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) did so, condemning Trump’s claims as delusional and dangerous, House Republicans voted her out of her position in party leadership. Just this Friday, Trump claimed on his blog that Democrats “know the vote was corrupt,” and he has released many statements along similar lines.