While some senators prefer to stick to the long-standing rules, despite the often cumbersome process, others say the time has come to lower the threshold to 51 votes.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Friday derailed a bipartisan inquiry into the deadly assault on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters, despite a torrent of criticism they were playing down the violence. Democrats see the bill as an important step in protecting the voting system, but Republicans are unlikely to support it. Maine's other senator, independent Angus King, also voted Friday to move forward with the commission.
A motion to open debate on the January 6 commission failed by a vote of 54 in favor to 35 against, with 11 abstentions. Another 11 senators (nine Republicans and two Democrats) skipped the vote entirely. Earlier in the week, Collins was among a small number of Republicans to meet with the longtime girlfriend of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died as a result of strokes he suffered during the riot.
However, Republican lawmakers had voiced opposition to the commission.
The Senate had sought to pass the $250 billion measure on Thursday but the legislation was delayed by Republicans who said Schumer and his fellow Democrats had not allowed enough time to consider amendments.
Because the 100-member Senate is equally divided, Democrats needed 10 Republicans to vote in favor of the bill.
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On social media Sinema's no-show was trending most of Friday with progressives, in particular, taking a dim view of her failure to vote.
McConnell, who once said Trump was responsible for "provoking" the riot, more recently dismissed the legislation as nothing more than a "political exercise" since Senate committees are already investigating Capitol security shortcomings.
"This was one of the darkest moments in American history, the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War, and we need to understand what went wrong so we can prevent similar crises in the future", King said in a statement. There, you - seven Republican senators, rather.
"What are you afraid of - the truth?"
In comments this week, Murray blasted Republicans who have shrugged off the events of January 6, when a mob roamed the Capitol trying to halt certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Collins tried to address both points with an amendment that would have required the commission's chair and vice chair to make hires together, and shortened the time it would have to wind down its work after a December 31 deadline to issue a final report. In a letter to Democrats after the vote, Schumer said Congress had "seen the limits of bipartisanship".