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Murkowski Declares 'Something Bad Happened' Ahead of Vote on Jan. 6 Commission

Most Republican lawmakers appear to be poised to block a House-passed bill to create an independent commission that would investigate the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) criticized those Republicans who oppose the creation of an independent commission. She told reporters on Thursday, “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 January 6, I think we need to look at that critically.”

The Alaska lawmaker added, “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 elections and we respect the results of those elections and we allow for a peaceful transition of power — I kind of want that to work beyond just one election cycle.”

Murkowski also acknowledged that there is likely “some concern” among Republicans not wanting to “rock the boat” by supporting the bill and angering former President Donald Trump.

“Truth is hard stuff, but we’ve got a responsibility to it,” Murkowski said. “We just can’t pretend that nothing bad happened, or that people just got too excitable. Something bad happened. And it’s important to lay that out.” 

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Murkowski is among the few Republican senators who support the bill. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) shared this week he would support a vote for the bill, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has expressed support for a January 6 commission but with some modifications.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 19 with a 252-175 vote — 35 Republicans supported it.

Murkowski previously said she believes Trump would “obviously” be “a very key individual” for a January 6 commission, as IJR previously reported.

At least 10 Republicans have to vote in favor of the bill to pass. A vote on the bill was delayed and could occur later Friday, with the timing uncertain.

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