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Regional Interests

Oregon US Sen. Jeff Merkley ‘can’t fathom’ filibuster on Jan. 6 commission vote

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, took to Twitter to show his disappointment after Senate Republicans on Friday morning blocked the creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Merkley said he could not fathom voting against the commission.

“You wouldn’t vote against a bipartisan investigation of that day unless you wanted to keep the Big Lie that got us here going,” he said. “Not after being in the Capitol on 1/6. Not after seeing the fear of colleagues and friends while in those barricaded rooms. Not after witnessing the destruction, injury and death the insurrectionists left in their wake.”

The Senate vote was 54-35 — six votes shy of the 60 needed to take up the bill that passed the House. It would have formed a 10-person commission with members evenly split between the two parties.

Six Republicans voted with Democrats to move ahead with the commission. Eleven senators, including Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, missed the rare Friday vote on the bill. Murray said in a statement she had to fly home for a personal family matter.

OPB has reached out for statements from Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington, who voted in favor of the commission.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting