Sen. Susan Collins on Sunday said she supported the establishment of an independent commission to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection and expressed optimism that Democrats’ House-passed bill to do so could make it through the Senate with some modifications.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” the Maine Republican said she was confident that if lawmakers could agree on the commission wrapping up its work by the end of the year and ensuring that its staffing was bipartisan, the bill could pass the Senate. Many Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, came out against the creation of the commission, and POLITICO reported last week that there was little chance Republicans would agree to even open debate on the bill, which passed the House with 35 Republican “yes” votes.
“I strongly support the creation of an independent commission,” Collins said. “I believe there are many unanswered questions about the attacks on the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Moderate Republicans such as Collins and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney have signaled openness to the bill if it were amended. Both of those lawmakers were among the seven Republican senators who voted in favor of convicting former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial for inciting the insurrection. He was acquitted.
Democrats need 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster, and winning over the backing of Collins, one of the key swing votes in the evenly divided chamber, could be essential.
Collins said Sunday that her optimism about resolving the two issues was informed by conversations she has had with Democratic leadership.