A first-term Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, is seeking sanctions that could include a political death penalty for Republican House members who contested electoral votes sent in by states that finalized Joe Biden’s defeat of President Trump.
Bush plans to introduce a resolution Monday that could lead to the harshest possible sanction of sitting House members (expulsion), which has only happened five times in the nation’s history. Bush’s efforts may pick up support after last Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by Trump backers, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and disrupted legislative business.
A discussion draft of the resolution posted by Bush on Twitter Sunday would direct the Committee on House Administration and Committee on Ethics to investigate and issue a report on whether the 138 Republican House members who contested electoral votes for Biden in one or more states should face sanctions for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“Tomorrow, I’m introducing my resolution to expel the members of Congress who tried to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist coup attempt that has left people dead,” said Bush, who in 2020 defeated a 20-year incumbent in the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary. “They have violated the 14th Amendment. We can’t have unity without accountability.”
Bush is a new member of “the Squad,” an ad hoc group of the furthest-left House members.
Bush’s move comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tries to force Trump out of office with a bit over a week left in his term. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders want Vice President Mike Pence to initiate a provision of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment that would sideline Trump. That’s an extreme long shot, and the House instead could vote on an impeachment resolution of Trump by Wednesday.
Pelosi also noted that a provision in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment relates to federal officeholders who engage in acts of insurrection or rebellion, and requirements necessary to remove such lawmakers.
Bush and her allies in the Democratic Caucus would need the support of two-thirds of the House to expel a member. Democrats have a slim majority, and an expulsion resolution would surely fail, with most or all Republicans opposing it.
Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, a first-term member who contested certification of some electoral votes, dismissed the idea of expulsion.
“Amid an orderly transfer of power and following the violence that unfolded on Capitol Hill, my colleagues should be working toward lowering the temperature, not raising it,” Donalds told the Washington Examiner by email. “This resolution is not productive and only further divides our congressional body and the nation. Our constituents sent us to Washington to work for them and our country’s greater good — this resolution does the opposite.”
Rep. Barry Moore, a first-term Republican from Alabama who also contested certification of some electoral votes, also disagreed with Bush’s push to punish fellow lawmakers.
“Like efforts to impeach the president, this action just further divides our nation and seeks to silence the voices of the millions of Americans we represent,” Moore told the Washington Examiner.
The House has only expelled five members. The last time occurred in 2002 when Ohio Democratic Rep. Jim Traficant was expelled following his conviction on 10 counts, including bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States, corruption, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and racketeering.
In 1980, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Michael Myers was expelled following his bribery conviction related to the Abscam scandal. The remaining three expulsions in 1861 were Democratic members, one from Kentucky and two from Missouri, who had joined the Confederacy and taken up arms against the Union.
Author: Kerry Picket
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘Squad’ newcomer pushes to expel House Republicans who fought Biden win