Minnesota's two Democratic senators on Friday backed a bipartisan measure to investigate the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith joined a majority of the Senate who voted to start debate on the bill to create an independent commission, but the measure failed to clear the 60-vote threshold the Senate requires to proceed on most legislation.

"This commission is modeled exactly after the gold standard of investigations and recommendations, the 9/11 commission," Klobuchar said in a floor speech. "It is modeled in the words of how the staff is chosen. It is modeled in the words of getting to the bottom of something and getting something done."

The legislation passed the House last week with the support of Minnesota's four Democrats. While 35 House Republicans voted for the bill, all four Minnesota GOP members voted no. The commission members would be evenly divided between Republican and Democratic appointees.

"It's hard to believe that, after standing together in a safe room calling our loved ones to say we were safe, so many Republicans would now deny the American people transparency and truth," Smith said in a statement. "This should not be a hard choice. [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell and much of his caucus are choosing to coddle [former President Donald] Trump instead of finding the answers that the Capitol Police, their colleagues and their country deserve."

Friday's vote was a fierce example of the legislative filibuster's impact. Klobuchar and Smith have called for changes to the filibuster as Democrats try to move forward on their agenda.

Some Republicans in Congress said the commission should be widened to investigate other instances of political violence. Others pointed to ongoing congressional inquiries into Jan. 6 and work by the Justice Department.

Trump, whose actions Jan. 6 led to his second impeachment in the House but subsequent acquittal in the Senate, opposed the commission bill.

Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate's Committee on Rules and Administration, said she is working on a separate Jan. 6 report with her counterpart on the Homeland Security Committee and the ranking Republicans on both panels. According to Klobuchar, the report is expected to be released the week of June 7. But she said on the floor Friday that she still wanted to see an independent commission.

"It's an important report, and we're proud of our work," Klobuchar said before the vote. "But it is no substitute for a 9/11-style commission."

Hunter Woodall • 612-673-4559