Thursday, September 16News That Matters

Senate GOP whip says there aren’t 60 votes to advance Jan. 6 commission bill today

Republican Sen. Susan Collins voices her support for the creation of January 6 commission while talking to journalists with (L-R) DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, Sandra Garza, girlfriend of the late US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, and US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn on May 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins voices her support for the creation of January 6 commission while talking to journalists with (L-R) DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, Sandra Garza, girlfriend of the late US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, and US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn on May 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Susan Collins spoke with reporters following her meeting with fallen US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s girlfriend, Sandra Garza, and USCP Officer Harry Dunn and DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone. Sicknick’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, did not join them for this meeting.

Collins spoke about her stance on the commission, saying “they are the reason that I am fighting so hard for the creation of this commission, so that we can better understand the attack on our democracy, and the heroic actions that were taken that day to save our lives and the lives of everyone who worked in the camp.”

The Republican senator from Maine said she thinks her amendment to fix the “flaw” in the House bill addressed the major objection to the bill, and that she has secured the agreement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her amendment.

“My hope is that we can get, with this amendment, a sufficient number of Republicans to pass the bill. We owe it to the brave men and women who defended our lives that day. And in some cases did so at the cost of their lives. And that’s why I feel so strongly about that.”

Collins is one of only three GOP senators who have expressed their support for advancing the legislation – Democrats need 10. Republicans are in the Senate today.

Fanone said he came to educate lawmakers about his experiences that day.

“I want to see Congress come together in a bipartisan fashion and really get to the bottom of it, January 6, I think it’s necessary for us to heal from the trauma that we all experienced that day,” he said. “That’s why I think it’s so important.”

Garza said she’s frustrated by Republicans who still do not want to support the commission.

“I think it’s very disturbing that anyone would not want to support this,” she said. “Why would they not want to get to the bottom of such horrific violence? You know they are here today and with their families and comfortable, because of the actions of law enforcement that day. So I don’t understand why they why they would resist getting to the bottom of what happened that day and fully understanding how it happened. It just boggles my mind.”

Garza said she wants senators “to be thinking about Brian Sicknick, Officer Liebengood, and Officer Jeffrey Smith. They sacrificed their lives that day. They really did. It doesn’t matter that Brian’s cause of death was natural” she said, using air quotes around the word natural.

“He still died defending them that day. And Officer Liebengood, and Officer Smith. They died as a result of the trauma that day,” she said.

Garza said she’s still hopeful that her conversations with senators will change minds.