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Senator Kyrsten Sinema in the Capitol building in March 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) told AZCentral that she missed a procedural vote on legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to study the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because she had a "family matter."

Why it matters: Sinema was one of two Senate Democrats who skipped the 54-35 vote, which ultimately failed to gain enough support to overcome Senate Republicans' filibuster.

Context: Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) was the other Democrat to miss last week's vote. She said she also had a "personal family matter" to attend to, according to the Seattle Times.

  • Sinema missed the vote despite having issued a joint statement three days before with Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-W.Va.), in which they urged GOP senators to back the bill.

What they're saying: "I had a personal family matter," Sinema told AZCentral, without elaborating.

The big picture: President Biden in a speech in Tulsa on Tuesday expressed frustrations with congressional Democrats, specifically in the Senate.

  • "I hear all the folks on TV saying why doesn't Biden get this done? Because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends," the president said.

Go deeper: Brian Sicknick's partner "disgusted" with Republicans blocking Jan. 6 commission

Go deeper

Brian Sicknick's partner "disgusted" with Republicans blocking Jan. 6 commission

Gladys Sicknick, mother Brian Sicknick, left, and Sandra Garza, center, make their way to the office of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on May 27. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sandra Garza, longtime partner of the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, told CBS News she is "disgusted" with Senate Republicans for blocking a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Although the Justice Department is leading a wide-ranging investigation to prosecute members of the Jan. 6 riot and another congressional probe is underway, these efforts are narrowly focused — missing big-picture questions that a 9/11-style commission could be able to answer, per the New York Times.

Texas Democrats leave House floor to block voter restriction bill

Texas Capitol building. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Texas state Democrats left the House floor late Sunday to block a sweeping restrictive voting bill from passing, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The walkout forced Republicans to suspend the session before a midnight voting deadline on Senate Bill 7. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said after the surprise walkout he will add the bill to a special session later this year.

Updated 29 mins ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.