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House Democrats are having pipe dreams about another Senate vote on a Jan. 6 commission


”I hope Leader Schumer finds the votes and gets the independent commission back up for a vote,” Rep. Madeleine Dean said. “That is the best path forward.” 

Further delay is not a path forward. A select committee is a path forward.

If there was a path to 60 votes in the Senate, or to using the vote to build pressure on Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to reform the filibuster, it would be one thing. But unless someone has a compelling case that that’s going to happen, another Senate vote just takes time, time that Democrats don’t have a lot of if they’re going to move President Joe Biden’s agenda forward at all.

Rep. Jamie Raskin is among the Democrats thinking an independent commission would be “By far the best solution.” But he acknowledged that while, “That depends on the idea that there is pressure building out in the country on wavering Republicans. And I don’t know. I certainly feel it, but I’m from Maryland,” the fact is, “Usually when McConnell’s whipped his votes, they pretty much stay in place.”

An unnamed Senate Democrat echoed that last point, telling The Hill, “The outcome won’t change.”

Unfortunately, some Democrats think that trying and failing is still a good idea, because it will force Republicans into another tough vote and heighten divisions among them. Once again, we have to wonder if these Democrats have paid any attention to Republicans in recent years. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is committed to a coverup, and he leaves Democrats no choice but to go ahead with what they can.

As Joan McCarter previously wrote, there are four options: another Senate vote, allowing existing committees to investigate the insurrection, making one committee responsible for investigating, or creating a select committee. The first is a recipe for further delay and the second and third draw time and resources away from the regular work of standing committees. The select committee allows Democrats to limit the number of Republicans involved—since House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will get to choose which Republicans are on a select committee, they are sure to be some of the worst of the worst, but Democrats wouldn’t have to allow anything like equal representation. Republicans are going to scream that it’s a partisan witch hunt no matter what Democrats do, so why allow them to also obstruct while they do so?