Durbin: Congress Has A Responsibility To Gather A Full Accounting Of What Happened On January 6

In speech on Senate floor, Durbin slams Senate Republicans’ filibuster of the bipartisan January 6 commission

WASHINGTON – Days after the fence around the U.S. Capitol building was removed and six months after the January 6 insurrection, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today once again slammed Senate Republicans’ refusal to support the bipartisan January 6 commission, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and applauded Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats for creating a select committee to investigate both the security failings of the January 6 attack as well as the circumstances leading up to the insurrection.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin argued that a full investigation is necessary in order to prevent Trump loyalists from rewriting the reality of what happened on January 6, 2021, and to honor the brave law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol on that day.

“How did they plan this attack on our democracy?  Who funded their effort and planted pipe bombs?  What contacts, if any, did members of Congress have with these insurrectionists in the days leading up to the attack?  We don’t have a full accounting.  Yet last month, Republican Senators filibustered the creation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.  Senator McConnell pleaded with his caucus to block this commission.  Well, Congressional Democrats are determined to give the officers who defended this Capitol and the American people the truth about January 6.  We’re not going to tolerate whitewashing this attack for political purposes,” Durbin said.  “I strongly support Speaker Pelosi’s decision to form a select committee to investigate it and I look forward to its findings.  And as the House moved forward with its own investigation, we need to ask ourselves why the Republican Senate Leader and all but six Republican Senators voted to prevent the Senate from finding out the truth.”

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also voiced his support for reform of the filibuster and called on his colleagues to join him in this effort.

“The framers of the Constitution never intended for one half of one branch of government to be equipped with a kill switch.  The filibuster doesn’t promote bipartisanship, it is preventing bipartisan progress.  As I said, the proposal to form an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection had broad bipartisan support in the Senate.  Six Republican colleagues had the courage to stand up and join all the Democrats in calling for this January 6 commission.  But a minority of Senators, all Republican, refused,” Durbin said.  “This is not how our legislative process is supposed to function.  Our nation’s founders wanted to give each Senator a voice, not a veto over every piece of legislation.  That is how the filibuster is being misused today.”

Durbin concluded, “As we celebrate the reopening of the Capitol grounds, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that our democracy has survived, but it cannot protect itself from future attacks.  That responsibility falls on our shoulders.  No wasting time on delay tactics. It’s time to do the work we were sent to Washington to do.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.