Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict former President Trump in the Democrats’ final, failed impeachment attempt, said the formulation of a January 6 commission is not “necessary or wise.”
In a Thursday statement, the North Carolina lawmaker said, “I don’t believe establishing a new commission is necessary or wise.”
“As I’ve said before, the Capitol assault on January 6th was a grim day for our nation. In its aftermath, the Senate held the unprecedented impeachment trial of a former U.S. president,” Burr said, pointing to investigations being conducted within the Justice Department and Congress.
Burr, who will not seek reelection, is among the seven GOP senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump.
The Democrat-led House passed H.R. 3233, the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act, on Wednesday. The measure seeks to establish a commission to investigate the riots and protests that ensued on January 6. The bill passed 252-175, earning support from 35 Republican lawmakers in the lower chamber, including the recently ousted GOP conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
The measure faces greater obstacles in the Senate, particularly following Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) opposition to the measure, which some suspect will embolden teetering Republicans to refrain from supporting it. Democrats need ten Republicans to join them in order to break the filibuster.
“It’s not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could lay on top of the existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress,” McConnell said.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is among GOP senators signaling support for such a commission.
“I think it’s a good idea to have a commission,” the senator said, per his office. “There have been some reports that the staff is only selected by the Democratic leader of the commission – that would be a nonstarter.”
“I’ll look and if there are amendments that have to be made to make it truly bipartisan, then I or others could propose that,” he added.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also hinted she could support the commission, but she believes changes would be necessary.
“I would vote for a form of a commission,” Collins said. “But I don’t think it’s right to have the chairman unilaterally appoint all of his staff. I think it needs to be very clear that the commission’s work is finished at the end of this year.”
“And I think there should have been more outreach between Speaker Pelosi to the Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate,” she added. “It’s my understanding there’s been zero outreach.”