Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday urged Republicans to vote against a bill to create an independent, bipartisan commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling the proposed panel extraneous and divisive.
In remarks on the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican revived GOP complaints about the proposal, including accusations that it is designed to create a partisan fishing expedition against former President Donald Trump.
“I do not believe the additional extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” he said. “Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that.
“I will continue to support the real serious work of the criminal justice system and our own Senate committees and urge my colleagues to oppose this extraneous layer when the time comes for the Senate to vote,” Mr. McConnell continued.
Mr. McConnell‘s remarks come the day Democrats are expected to hold a vote on the measure. The legislation was approved last week in the House with 35 Republicans voting with the Democrats in defiance of the chamber’s GOP leaders.
In the evenly split Senate, Republicans are poised to quash the bill even as some of the party’s moderates rally to find support for it. Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to overcome a GOP filibuster, nearly ensuring that they will fall short of passing the legislation.
Mr. McConnell said Thursday he would prefer to let the Justice Department and congressional investigations play out rather than create a new commission. He pointed to the more than 440 arrests made in connection to the riot as well as the second impeachment trial of Mr. Trump.
“The attorney general has indicated that this investigation will remain a top focus, multiple Senate committees are conducting their own bipartisan inquiries, and the role of the former president has been litigated exhaustively — exhaustively — in the high-profile impeachment trial we had right here in the Senate several months ago,” he said.