Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., told reporters Friday that he would rather be fishing or golfing for Memorial Day Weekend ahead of a congressional vote on whether to establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
“We’re in the fourth quarter of life. You know who we’re doing this for? You,” Tuberville said while gesturing toward reporters.
“I’d rather be fishing right now, or golfing,” he added.
Tuberville was one of 35 Republicans who voted nay during a procedural vote to determine whether the Senate should take up a House-passed bill on the establishment of a commission. The 66-year-old senator assumed office in January.
A spokesperson for Tuberville said the senator was referring to the US Innovation and Competition Act, not the commission when he made his remarks. Tuberville is part of a group of Republicans who expressed concern about the bill, which proponents say will bolster US efforts to compete with China on technological innovation.
“His comments, and the purpose of that press conference, was to discuss the issues with the US Innovation and Competition Act specifically the manager’s amendment and lack of transparency in the newly added provisions,” the spokesperson said
The final vote on the commission measure was 54-35, falling six votes short of the 60 required to bypass the filibuster. The Senate adjourned for a Memorial Day recess soon after the vote.
Six Republicans – Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Ben Sasse and Rob Portman – voted to advance the measure.
The bill called for the creation of an independent bipartisan panel to study what led to the events of Jan. 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the Electoral College vote in the 2020 election.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was among the Republicans who pushed back on the bill.
“The heart of this recommendation by the Democrats is that they would like to continue to debate things that occurred in the past,” McConnell said earlier this week. “They’d like to continue to litigate the former president into the future.”
The commission, if established, would have consisted of five Republicans and five Democrats.
This story has been updated.