Kyrsten Sinema Called January 6 Commission ‘Critical,’ But Missed Vote

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) missed the vote on establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6 on Friday despite describing the commission as “critical.”

Sinema was not present for the roll call vote in the Senate and hasn’t yet explained why but a spokesperson said on Friday that she would have voted yes if she had been there.

The Senate voted in favor of the House bill on the commission by 54 to 35 but failed to reach the required 60 votes to overcome the filibuster, so the measure could not advance.

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Sinema issued a joint statement with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on May 25 calling for the commission to be approved.

“The events of January 6th were horrific. We could never have imagined an attack on Congress and our Capitol at the hands of our own citizens,” the statement said.

“In the hours and days following the attack, Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned the violence and vowed to hold those responsible accountable so our Democracy will never experience an attack like this again.

“A bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day has passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote and is a critical step to ensuring our nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again. We implore our Senate Republican colleagues to work with us to find a path forward on a commission to examine the events of January 6th.”

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Manchin voted in favor of the bill, though he also faced criticism for saying he was not willing to reform the filibuster in order to get the commission passed.

A Sinema spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Friday that “she will be entering into the Congressional record that she would’ve voted ‘yes,'” on the commission but no reason for her absence has yet been given.

Ten other senators were recorded as “not voting” on Friday, including Democrat Patty Murray of Washington. Murray explained her absence, citing a “personal family matter”, according to The Seattle Times.

Senator Pat Toomey was also a no-show on Friday despite previously saying he would support the commission. A spokesperson for Toomey said he had a “family commitment,” according to GoErie.com.

“Had he been in Washington, Senator Toomey would have voted in favor of the motion to proceed to the January 6th commission legislation with the expectation that the Senate would consider, and Senator Toomey would have supported, an amendment that addresses Republican concerns about partisan staffing and the duration of the commission,” the statement said.

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Even if Sinema, Murray, and Toomey had voted on Friday, the majority would still have been short of the 60 votes needed to move the commission forward. The remaining eight absent senators were all Republicans, some of whom had publicly opposed the commission.

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