Montana’s U.S. Senators voted along party lines in a decision Friday not to establish a commission to investigate the events surrounding and factors influencing the January insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Senators shot down the proposed commission in a 54 to 35 vote, with Republican Sen. Steve Daines voting against and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in favor.
In a statement, Sen. Tester said, “The January 6th insurrection was a deadly attack on our democracy by domestic terrorists, and has absolutely no place in America. Establishing a nonpartisan 9/11-style commission to get to the bottom of what happened should have been a no brainer.
“I am deeply disappointed in my colleagues for choosing their own political interest over investigating what led to that day’s horrific events. We must hold the terrorists who attacked the Capitol—and those who enabled and incited them—accountable for their actions, and make sure such an ugly stain on our democracy never happens again.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Daines sent the following statement:
“Senator Daines believes January 6th was a sad day for our country and he condemns the violence that occurred. He believes all those who took part should be held accountable and supports the ongoing law enforcement investigations.
“Currently, there are bipartisan investigations led by Senate Committees looking into what happened on January 6th including flaws in the U.S. Capitol security—the Senator supports those efforts. With that said, the Senator does not support the proposed January 6th commission because it is duplicative of work already being done in a bipartisan manner in the Senate and elsewhere.
“The Senator is also concerned that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other partisan advocates of the proposed commission want to use it for political gain, which would only distract from the bipartisan and independent investigations that are already occurring.”
The mother of a police officer who died after the riots had asked to speak with GOP leadership before the vote. Daines’ spokesperson confirmed to YPR that the Senator had a conversation with her.
Wyoming Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barraso also voted against the commission.