Today, all but six of the Republican Senators turned their backs on democracy and on their nation. History will not be kind to those Senators who voted against even allowing a debate on a bill to create an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by an armed mob bent on overturning the results of the 2020 election by force. That attack left 5 dead and scores injured – including more than 130 law enforcement officers who suffered injuries while defending the Capitol and the members of Congress inside.
The filibuster today was a disgraceful act of cowardice by GOP Senators so intent on gaining possible partisan political advantage that they put their political party before the nation they swore an oath to protect. The very first line of the oath those Senators swore before taking office was to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and today they chose to ignore that oath. There is no way around the fact that those were domestic enemies who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th carrying Confederate battle flags, and armed with cudgels, bear spray, hockey sticks, and zip ties with weapons caches and bombs strategically placed just blocks away.
We commend Leader Schumer, all members of his caucus, and the 6 Republican senators who voted to begin debate on this bipartisan legislation that passed the House just last week on a strong bipartisan vote. This vote today is yet another example of how the filibuster actually stifles discussion, debate, and progress in the Senate. Mitch McConnell must not be allowed to weaponize the filibuster and hold our democracy hostage. The filibuster must be eliminated so we can protect against future attacks on our democracy.
January 6th could have gone infinitely worse. Members of Congress could easily have lost their lives that day to the violent mob as law enforcement officers did defending them. But sadly, none of the Republican Senators who voted “no” have the courage to speak the truth – and stand up for democracy – because they are afraid to cross a former president who refuses to admit he lost the 2020 election.