Joe Manchin is 'distressed' after the Jan. 6 commission is blocked by Senate Republicans
Republicans blocked on Friday bipartisan legislation to establish a commission to study the Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6, failing in the Senate even as it won a majority of votes, 54-35, because the filibuster requires 60 votes for passage. Eleven senators, including nine Republicans and two Democrats, were absent for the vote.
West Virignia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has been the leading but not the sole opponent of reforming the filibuster among the Democrats, expressed dismay at the result. He had publicly implored his GOP colleagues to support the bill.
"I'm very disappointed, very frustrated that politics has trumped — literally and figuratively — the good of the country," he admitted, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Lindsay Wise. "I never thought politics would be my fear... and now to see fear take over, it's truly disheartening. I'm hoping they get the courage."
He went on to say that Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and other Democratic lawmakers ensured that the commission would be bipartisan. He attributed the Republicans' votes to "fear."
Manchin on the Jan. 6 commission: “I’m very very disappointed, very frustrated that politics is Trump, literally an… https://t.co/uW46NAj17N— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender) 1622218150.0
Manchin: “I never thought politics would be my fear... and now to see fear take over, it's truly disheartening. I'm hoping they get the courage."
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 28, 2021
Manchin later issued a statement sharply critical of the GOP votes.
"Choosing to put politics and political elections above the health of our Democracy is unconscionable," he said. "And the betrayal of the oath we each take is something they will have to live with."
Only Collins and five other Republican senators Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Robert Portman (R-Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have opted to distance from Trump by voting in favor of the commission.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also said she believes the failed vote "brings shame" to the body.
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