The vote to advance the bill -previously passed by the House- failed by 54-35, well short of the 60 votes needed.
Although most Republicans were unified in their opposition to the bill, worrying that a commission would drag into next year and potentially affect GOP chances of retaking Congress in the 2022 midterms due to links between Trump and insurrection.
In this regard, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) expressed on Friday his doubts that this ‘strange commission’ by Democratic leaders will dig up new crucial facts or even promote healing on the case.
The bill would create a 10-member commission evenly divided between members selected by Democratic and Republican leaders. Much of the language in the legislation is copied from the bill creating the 9/11-style commission, which passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the Senate in 2002.
Democrats argued that the investigation was necessary to reach rock bottom of Capitol insurrection, as a growing number of GOPers tried to downplay its severity and believe Trump’s false claim that November 3, 2020 election was stolen from him.
Senators Ron Johnson and Rand Paul had planned to force their colleagues to use all procedural time required to debate in the next few hours a China-related bill, which could cause lawmakers to get bogged down through Saturday or even Sunday, but the parties agreed to only endorse the initiative regarding the commission to probe into Capitol attack.
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Charles Schumer said the vote on the US-China Competitiveness Act will take place ‘when we return in June,’ referring to the break lawmakers will take on the occasion of Memorial Day, which this year is commemorated on May 31.