January 6th Commission Blocked
Republicans in the Senate have effectively used the filibuster to block the creation of a bipartisan January 6th Commission to investigate the attack on the US Capitol. Only six Republican Senators joined Democrats to support the creation of a commission, four short of what is needed to overcome the filibuster. The bill passed in the House with bipartisan support. 35 Republicans joined with House Democrats to pass the bill. Sadly, 175 Republicans voted against the commission.
The fact that the majority of Republicans in Congress cannot get behind a bipartisan investigation of one of the worst attacks on the US Capitol shows how broken the GOP is today.
The fight for an investigation is not over. There is a slim chance the bill can pass in the Senate if four more Republicans join with Democrats to overcome the filibuster. If that does not happen, Democrats in the House have a few options on how to proceed. They could:
- Establish a select committee
- Allow multiple committees to continue to hold hearings
- Or empower a singular committee to lead an investigation
Democracy Scholars Issue Statement of Concern
Scholars of democracy have issued a statement of concern in light of the, “radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election.” In response to the growing number of Republican-led, anti-democratic voter suppression bills, these scholars are advocating for the passage of federal legislation to protect the right to vote for all citizens and to ensure state legislatures are not able to undermine the integrity of our elections.
Voter Suppression Bill in Texas is Blocked…For Now
Despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Texas Republicans attempted to pass a sweeping voter suppression bill in the state legislature. The Republican-led bill, SB7, is just the latest in a series of bills that have been introduced in state legislatures across the country fueled by the big lie that the election was stolen from former President Trump. SB7 was already going to make it much harder to vote in Texas, but Republicans added new changes to the bill, behind closed doors, at the last minute. These changes included provisions that would make it easier to overturn an election.
Democrats eventually were able to block passage of the bill by staging a walkout and denying the House the quorum necessary to vote on the bill. With the legislative session in Texas having ended earlier this week, the bill is effectively dead…for now. Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott has said he plans to call a special session to pass the bill and has even threatened to defund the state legislature in response to the Democrats’ walkout.