“I think it’s too early to create a commission, and I believe Republicans in the Senate will decide that it’s too early to create that commission,” Blunt said on “Fox News Sunday” of the vote scheduled this week.
Senate Democrats need the support of 10 Republicans to back the commission in order to move the bill forward and avoid a filibuster.
Blunt argued that commissions don’t always work and noted the panel that investigated Sept. 11 began months after the attacks.
“It was 14 months after 9/11 after all kinds of other information was out there for that commission to look at before that commission got started. And, believe me, it would be months before this commission could get started,” he continued, noting the time it would take to compile a staff.
“I’ve actually opposed the idea of a commission from the very first because I think we’ll start waiting for a commission rather than moving forward with what we know we need to do now,” Blunt told host Chris Wallace.
“There’s a bipartisan effort in the Senate with two committees to produce not only a report, but also a number of recommendations and we should be able to do that in the first full week of June and we haven’t even waited for that, to decide what a commission should do,” he said.
But Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of 35 Republicans who voted for the commission last week, argued Sunday that it doesn’t matter if the GOP stalls or blocks a commission — the 2022 midterms are approaching and the Capitol riot will be an issue.
“Here’s a revelation, this is going to the 2022 midterms anyway, particularly if us as Republicans don’t take ownership for what happened,” said Kinzinger, who also appeared on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If every other day, there’s a new conspiracy theory about what happened at the Capitol, anybody but what it was. And so, yeah, I think it will go to 2022. And we’ll look like we are just sitting here denying reality and facts,” he said.
Republicans are hoping to regain majorities in the House and Senate at the midterms.
“I’m going to tell you what had a political impact on 2022, if anything does, it’s going to be the attack on Jan. 6 and then the subsequent denial to look in the mirror, tell the truth, take ownership for what we’ve done and recommit to tell the American people and Republican voters the truth,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out against the commission before the House vote.
“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of Jan. 6,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a speech from the Senate floor.
“As everybody surely knows, I repeatedly made my views about the events of Jan. 6 very clear. I spoke clearly and left no doubt about my conclusions. Federal law enforcement have made at least 445 arrests and counting relating to crimes committed that day, hundreds of those people have been charged, law enforcement investigations are ongoing, and federal authorities say they expect to arrest at least 100 or so more,” he said.