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Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaking during a hearing on May 26. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters on Thursday that she believes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is blocking legislation that would form a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot for "short-term political gain," according to HuffPost.

Why it matters: Murkowski, who faces re-election next year, is one of only three Senate Republicans to publicly support the commission, which is expected to be blocked by other Republicans Friday.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has said he'd support the commission, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she's in favor of the commission with certain changes to the House-passed legislation.
  • The House passed the bill last week with 35 GOP votes.

What she's saying: “To be making a decision for the short-term political gain at the expense of understanding and acknowledging what was in front of us on Jan. 6, I think we need to look at that critically. Is that really what this is about, one election cycle after another?” Murkowski said, per HuffPost.

  • “Or are we going to acknowledge that as a country that is based on these principles of democracy that we hold so dear. And one of those is that we have free and fair elections. ... I kind of want that to endure beyond just one election cycle," the senator added.
  • “I need to know. I think it’s important for the country that there be an independent evaluation. ... If you want to make this an independent commission, then, Leader, this is your opportunity. Pick the right people,” Murkowski said.
  • “I guess now we’ll never know,” she said, referring to unresolved questions about the riot. “Isn’t that part of the problem, that we’ll never know? It’ll never be resolved. It’ll always be hanging out there.”

The big picture: On Thursday, McConnell said on the Senate floor that he believes the commission is "extraneous" since the Justice Department is already conducting a massive investigation into the riot.

  • Republican opposition to the commission has also infuriated moderate swing vote Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Go deeper: Mother of late Capitol Police officer pressures GOP senators on Jan. 6 commission

Go deeper

Jan. 6 select committee elevates Liz Cheney to vice chair

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Xinhua via Getty Images

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, announced Thursday that he has named Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as vice chair.

Why it matters: Cheney, who was already the committee's top Republican, is now the panel's second-ranking member, an unusual move for a committee dominated by Democrats due to House GOP leadership's refusal to participate.

GOP Sen. Pat Toomey: Trump should not be nominee in 2024

Sen. Pat Toomey. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) told CNBC on Friday that he does not believe former President Trump should be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, calling his behavior after the 2020 election "completely unacceptable."

Why it matters: Toomey largely supported Trump and his agenda during his first term, but became one of seven Senate Republicans to vote to convict the former president after he was impeached for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
7 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.