May 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer on Jan. 6 filibuster: Trump's "Big Lie" is now GOP's "defining principle"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) rebuked Senate Republicans on Friday after the chamber failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to advance a bill creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

The big picture: Schumer said he believes the vote proves that Donald Trump's "Big Lie" has "enveloped" the GOP and that its members fear retaliation from the former president and his allies.

Context: The 10-person bipartisan commission would have been charged with studying the facts and circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack and the influencing factors that may have provoked it.

  • Six Republicans voted in favor of the commission: Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), and Ben Sasse (Neb.).
  • 35 Republicans supported the bill passed in the House of Representatives.

What they're saying: "But out of fear or fealty to Donald Trump, the Republican minority just prevented the American people from getting the full truth about January 6," Schumer said.

  • "The Republican minority just prevented the Senate from even debating the bill. No opportunity for amendments, no opportunity for debate," he added.
  • "The American people will see how each Republican senator voted. This should have been simple. The commission was bipartisan, independent, straight down the middle."
  • "This vote has made it official. Donald Trump's Big Lie has now fully enveloped the Republican party. Trump's Big Lie is now the defining principle of what was once the party of Lincoln."

The big picture: Schumer said he hoped Republicans will allow the chamber to debate future bills.

  • "Will our Republican colleagues let the senate debate the bill or will they engage in another partisan filibuster of urgent legislation? We will soon see," he said.

What to watch: House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) previously told reporters that Democrats would likely pursue a select committee if the bill fell short in the Senate.

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