Collins Says She ‘Strongly’ Supports Jan. 6 Commission — But With Caveats

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 12: U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) speaks during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee at Hart Senate Office Building on May 12, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committ... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 12: U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) speaks during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee at Hart Senate Office Building on May 12, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Domestic Violent Extremism in America.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 23, 2021 1:41 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday signaled that she is supportive of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, but that some modifications are needed for the House-passed bill to create the commission to pass through the Senate.

Last week, 35 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for a 9/11-style bipartisan commission to look into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. All 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection” crossed party lines to approve the measure in a 252-175 vote. The bill, however, is likely to hit snags in the Senate, where Republicans who previously signaled support for the commission’s formation have walked back their previous remarks.

Appearing on ABC News, Collins was pressed on why she won’t get on board with the commission as passed by the House, which gives Democrats a win on scope, given that she took aim at Trump for provoking the Capitol insurrection that left five dead.

Collins replied that she “strongly” supports the Jan. 6 commission’s creation, before trying to clarify the conditions that she believes are needed in order for her to green light the commission.

“I believe there are many unanswered questions about the attacks on the Capitol on January 6th. We need to figure out how we can enhance security, why we weren’t better prepared, and we want the Capitol to be an open, accessible symbol of our democracy,” Collins said. “So I support the creation of a non-partisan, bipartisan commission.”

Collins, who was one of the handful of Republicans that voted to convict Trump for inciting the mob behind the Capitol attack, added that there are two “resolvable” issues with the proposed legislation that passed the House last week.

“One has to do with staffing, and I think that both sides should either jointly appoint the staff or there should be equal numbers of staff appointed by the chairman and the vice chairman,” Collins said. “The second issue is, I see no reason why the report cannot be completed by the end of this year. The commissioners have to be appointed within ten days. There’s plenty of time to complete the work.”

Collins expressed optimism that the House-passed bill can make it through the Senate based on recent conversations she had with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) voiced their opposition to supporting the now-House-passed bill for the Jan. 6 commission. Although the proposed commission would be evenly split between both parties, McConnell and McCarthy complained that the bill was partisan.

Watch Collins’ remarks below:

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