Durbin: GOP Jan. 6 Commission Opponents 'Afraid of the Truth' Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Washington. (Al Drago/AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 20 May 2021 12:45 PM
Republicans voting against the formation of a committee to study the Jan. 6 violation at the Capitol are "afraid of the truth," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Thursday, speaking out about the legislation that passed the House but is not expected to get through the Senate.
"[They] are afraid of the truth, afraid of what's going to come out and when it's going on come out," the Illinois Democrat said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," adding that he's glad Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. will bring the vote for the commission to the floor for a vote.
Durbin said there is a "little bit of hope" for the commission, as there are seven Republicans who voted for the impeachment resolution filed against former President Donald Trump charging him with inciting an insurrection, but still, 10 Republicans will have to vote for the commission so the bill can pass.
He also said he won't rule out that Senate Democrats could work on the investigation themselves, but that would be a "major undertaking" that could exclude the other things that need to be done to get the economy moving and to deal with the pandemic.
Durbin also on Thursday spoke out about the growing violence between Israel and the Palestinian terror group Hamas, commenting that while he "couldn't disagree more" with the policies of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he also does not join calls in cutting weapon sales to a key U.S. ally.
"I think the two-state solution is the only realistic future in that part of the world, and the abandonment of that approach by Netanyahu and his followers, I don’t believe, is constructive, and I think has added to the tension and stress between Israel and the Palestinians," said Durbin. "That’s the reality, and I am certainly not going to endorse Netanyahu.”
However, he said he does support Israel's survival, and won't join in calls to cut back on missiles to the country.
"They live in a very dangerous neighborhood," he said. "Although I wholeheartedly disagree with the Netanyahu policy, I am going to stand by my commitment to the survival of Israel."
His comments come as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., plans to introduce a resolution that if approved will block the $735 million sales of precision-guided weapons to Israel while the country's fight with Hamas rages on.
Sanders' resolution only needs a simple majority to pass, but if President Joe Biden vetoes it, the measure will need a tw0-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to pass.
"At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate," Sanders said in a statement to The Washington Post.
"I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians," he added. "We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict."