The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump

A total of 44 Republicans on Friday stopped the Senate from even considering a bipartisan proposal on creating an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The bill had passed the House last week with 35 Republican votes.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer offered a cloture motion on Friday to take up the proposal, which would have established an evenly divided bipartisan panel to look into the deadly attempt to overturn the 2020 election. But due to the Senate's filibuster rules, doing so required a 60-vote supermajority, and the Republican minority was able to block it.

35 of the 50 Senate Republicans voted against the cloture motion. Another nine simply skipped the vote, which had the same effect as voting no.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) said earlier this week that they'd back the bill. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she would demand some changes, but would vote to at least allow debate to begin.

They and Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) joined all the Democrats present in voting to proceed. Two Democrats missed the vote.

Last week, 35 House Republicans voted for the bipartisan commission plan. It was almost identical to a January proposal offered by 31 GOP representatives and modeled on the panel created in 2002 to investigate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

House Democrats had initially proposed an investigative panel with a Democratic majority to study this year's attack. After Republicans demanded bipartisan parity, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy enlisted New York Rep. John Katko, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, to reach a compromise with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the committee chair.

Even though Katko and McCarthy (R-CA) got nearly everything they asked for — an equal number of Democratic and Republican appointees on the 10-member commission and bipartisan agreement required for any subpoenas to be issued — McCarthy refused to support it.

Donald Trump, who was impeached in the House for inciting the January 6 insurrection but acquitted when just seven Senate Republicans voted to convict him, demanded last Tuesday that congressional Republicans "not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission."

Soon after, the Senate GOP began to speak out against having any commission at all.

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans would block the bill because there was little left to learn about the riots. "I do not believe the additional, extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts, or promote healing," he said in a floor speech. "Frankly, I do not believe it is even designed to do that."

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) blasted his GOP colleagues Thursday for their opposition, writing in a statement, "There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for."

"Mitch McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 elections," the conservative Democrat observed. "They do not believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}