Murkowski To Back January 6th Commission

( Democrats can count on at least one Republican Senator to back the proposed January 6 commission, and it’s a familiar foe of former President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said she’d support the bill that was passed in the House recently that will establish a commission made up of bipartisan members to investigate the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building that took place on January 6.

Thus far, Republicans as a whole have rejected the idea of the commission, as it was passed in the House. The bill could make its way to the Senate floor for a vote sometime this week.

In the House, 35 Republicans voted to support the bill. Democrats need at least 10 Republicans on their side for the bill to pass through the Senate and avoid the filibuster.

Murkowski became the second Republican senator to say she’d support the House bill. On Monday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney announced publicly that he would support it.

Another main target for Democrats is Maine Senator Susan Collins, who is considered by many to be a centrist. She has said that she would support a bipartisan commission to investigate the incidents of January 6, but there were “flaws” in the bill the House passed.

Earlier this week, Collins said:

“I see a need for a commission and am working to correct flaws in the House bill. I strongly support a commission.”

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes that the House bill would see a vote this week in the upper chamber. While debate is still raging on the bill, Schumer said he would ultimately force the vote if need be — even though it doesn’t seem like he has enough Republican support to pass it.

It seems like Democrats could also convince a fourth Republican Senator, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, to back a January 6 commission. But, even with his support, Democrats would still be six Republican senators short of passing the bill.

For his part, Cassidy agreed with Collins, saying he believed the House bill needed some major changes. Still, he said:

“I know it’s going to take a little bit of evolution, so I’d like to see what that evolution looks like. I think we could address concerns and make it a lot easier for folks to support it.”

Democrats could try to go back to the well and influence other Republicans who voted to convict Trump earlier this year in his second impeachment trial. That would include Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, who’s retiring at the end of his term and isn’t fighting to be re-elected.

So far, though, Toomey said he was undecided if he’d support the bill the House passed.

Another Democratic target, North Carolina Richard Burr, who also voted for Trump’s conviction, said he is against the bill as it was passed in the House.

That opposition, plus the fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is against the bill, which he said has a “slanted and unbalanced position,” makes it tough for Democrats to find the necessary votes.