MIAMI – Two Cuban-American Republican lawmakers from Miami-Dade County voted in favor of an independent commission to investigate ways to prevent the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar and Carlos Gimenez were among the 35 Republicans who helped to push the bill to pass in the House.
“I want to get to the bottom of how our security forces allowed a breach,” Gimenez said.
Former President Donald Trump referred to it as a “Democrat trap.” The panel’s appointees would include five Democrats and five Republicans and have limited subpoena power.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy voted against it. He allegedly called Trump during the siege to beg him to tell his supporters to go home. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to do the same.
“Our leader McCarthy never called me, never tried to change my vote,” Gimenez said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of “trying to erase the memory of Jan. 6″ The bill needs the support of 10 Republicans to pass the Senate. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy have both said they support it.
Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are likely to vote along party lines. They both voted to acquit Trump over his role in the Capitol Hill riots.
The deaths related to the insurrection included that of Ashli Babbitt, 35, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, 42, a 13-year veteran. Nearly 140 Capitol Police officers were injured.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said it’s “incredibly disappointing” to see lawmakers turn the decision into a political issue. She also said President Joe Biden supports the establishment of a commission to conduct an independent investigation into the “unprecedented assault on our democracy.”
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Torres contributed to this report from Miami.