Capitol riot commission faces growing hurdles amid GOP skepticism

WASHINGTON – Republican senators who could prevent the creation of a Capitol riot commission voiced their concerns Thursday, a day after the House approved the creation of a bipartisan investigation with subpoena power.

Thirty-five House Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday in passing a bill to create a bipartisan, independent commission to thoroughly investigate the Capitol riot Jan. 6. The bipartisanship sparked optimism that the Senate would approve the commission despite opposition from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

But Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who voted to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the insurrection, opposes such a commission. Burr noted the Justice Department is conducting one of the largest criminal investigations in history and congressional committees are conducting multiple investigations.

“I don’t believe establishing a new commission is necessary or wise,” Burr said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who also voted to convict Trump, said she supported a 9/11-style commission, but that changes in the House bill would be needed for her support. She echoed McConnell in criticizing the House bill for allowing the Democratic chairman to oversee all staffing.

“That’s not right,” Collins said.

Another impeachment supporter, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he is undecided on whether to create a commission. “I’ll have a statement when I make a decision,” he said.

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