Rep. Cori Bush pushes to expel lawmakers who incited violent assault on Capitol

Rep. Cori Bush pushes to expel lawmakers who incited violent assault on Capitol
Cori Bush // Credit: Craig Currie // Photo News 247, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

In response to supporters of President Donald Trump storming the U.S. Capitol during a joint congressional session on Wednesday in what many have denounced as a violent terrorist attack and attempted coup, newly sworn-in Rep. Cori Bush announced that her first formal act will target her colleagues who incited the chaos.

The siege of the Capitol came after an inflammatory speech by the president and as over 100 Republicans in Congress were in the process of contesting the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to take office in two weeks. The two chambers had ended the joint session to debate a GOP challenge to Arizona's presidential election results when the pro-Trump mob forced a lockdown.

"My first resolution in Congress will be to call for the expulsion of the Republican members of Congress who incited this domestic terror attack on the Capitol," tweeted Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist and Democrat who took the oath of office to represent Missouri's First Congressional District on Sunday.

The announcement came after Bush said: "My team and I are safe. I am in disbelief. I can't believe domestic terrorists are roaming around inside the Capitol. I'm remembering being brutalized and treated like a domestic terrorist just for protesting to keep my people alive. St. Louis: you're in my heart right now."

Tweeting from her congressional account on Wednesday, Bush added that Trump "has incited a riot" and "our country deserves better."

Various progressive organizations and at least one fellow Democrat in Congress expressed support for Bush's forthcoming resolution.

Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.Y.)—who argued last month that Republicans backing Trump's effort to overturn the November election shouldn't be sworn in for the next session of Congress because they were violating the U.S. Constitution and House rules—tweeted that he has signed on to Bush's resolution.

"Any House members who have tried to overturn the election and install a dictatorship have violated the Constitution and should not sit in Congress," he said.

The group IfNotNow said it backs the resolution "100%" while People for Bernie thanked Bush for the move and Justice Democrats noted her leadership.

"This is the standard for Democratic members of Congress right now," declared Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas.

RL Miller, founder of the advocacy group Climate Hawks Vote and a member of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted: "Hey mainstream Dem leadership. You working with freshman @RepCori on this or making her look like an outlier?"

Miller, a Californian, specifically directed her message at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.).

Others quickly urged their members of Congress to sign on to Bush's effort:

Color of Change president Rashad Robinson thanked Bush for "holding the enablers accountable for the violence they incited," adding that "the entire Republican Party stoked this flame, and they are complicit in this."

As the Los Angeles chapter of the youth-led Sunrise Movement put it: "The problem is so much larger than making the Congress doors impenetrable. Let's start addressing the underlying issues that led to today."

In a statement Wednesday, Sunrise Movement co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash delivered a message to Biden, Pelosi, and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):

Today's coup attempt at the Capitol highlights that our nation is at a crossroads and both ways forward are on full display—the ugly reality of white supremacy, hate, and white nationalism versus a multiracial coalition of people working to restore the soul of America. There is no middle ground, and Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi cannot "compromise," "negotiate," or "come to the table" with the GOP tyrants who enabled today's violent terrorism. If Democrats deliver bold solutions that create jobs, ensure justice, and heal a divided nation, this year could launch a new era of politics like FDR and the New Deal and Democrats will be rewarded for decades to come.

Sunrise co-founder and national political director Evan Weber thanked Bush for the resolution. "They are tyrants," he said of those targeted by her resolution. "Expel and impeach every last one of them."

Brand New Congress said it "stands with" Bush and pointed out that "citizens fear for their lives right now."

"GOP terrorists invaded the Capitol," the group wrote on Twitter, and cops and the military "didn't stop them."

Declaring that "the Capitol is OUR Capitol" and "our representatives represent US," Brand New Congress said that the GOP "can no longer destroy democracy."

Journalist David Roberts said of Bush's resolution, "This is the only sane response."

Bush's resolution plans come amid calls for again impeaching Trump, removing the president from office under the 25th Amendment, or even arresting him. Her fellow Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) announced Wednesday that she is already prepping articles of impeachment.

Pelosi, meanwhile, announced Wednesday evening that after speaking with congressional leaders, the Defense and Justice departments, and Vice President Mike Pence (Trump was not listed), they have decided to proceed with certifying Biden's win "tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use."

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol, the Center for Popular Democracy Action co-executive director Brian Kettering said in a statement that "President Trump and the Republican congressmembers who refused to accept the fact that millions of us organized and voted to elect Joe Biden, and who illegally sought to contest battleground states' electors, are responsible for the violent attack on our country today."

"Make no mistake—by feeding lies about the election in order to undermine the voice of the people, they encouraged an angry mob of armed right-wing protestors and white supremacists to descend on our Capitol in a shocking display of physical violence and chaos that led to the disruption of government and the death of at least one person," Kettering continued.

Endorsing the calls for impeachment by Omar and others, Kettering declared that "Donald Trump and members of Congress must face consequences for inciting an attempted coup to stop the peaceful transition of power, which is enshrined into our Constitution." He also warned that the next two weeks "offer a terrible opportunity for Trump to continue to fan the flames of even more violence and abuse of his presidential power."

"Furthermore, we support the resolution introduced by Rep. Cori Bush calling for the investigation and possible expulsion of the members of Congress who have voiced support for a reversal of the election, a group which includes more than 120 representatives as well as 13 senators," he added. "We cannot stand by while the very people elected to protect our democracy encourage violent attempts to overthrow the government."

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