In the wake of last Wednesday's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol perpetrated by those who falsely believed the 2020 president election was "stolen" from President Donald Trump, Missouri Rep. Cori Bush is seeking to hold Republican lawmakers accountable.
On Monday, the Democrat introduced a resolution calling for the removal of the Republican representatives who sought to overturn the results of the election, saying their actions had spurred on the mob of Trump supporters who breached the Capitol.
The resolution is co-sponsored by 47 other members of the House of Representatives.
"Today, as my first legislative action, I introduced a resolution calling for the removal of the Members of Congress who have, for months, tried to steal this election and invalidate the votes of millions of people, especially Black, brown, and Indigenous voters," Bush, 44, said in a statement. "The dangerous consequences of their actions led to an attempted white supremacist coup that put thousands of lives in danger and left five people dead."
Bush won her race for Missouri's 1st congressional district in November, defeating longtime representative William Lacy Clay in a landmark victory that made her the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in the state.
The former nurse and Black Lives Matter activist came to politics after becoming a visible part of the 2014 Ferguson protests, which began after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by police while unarmed.
In an op-ed published by the Washington Post on Saturday, Bush contrasted the forceful police presence at those protests to law enforcement's light response to the attempted coup on the United States Capitol.
"Watching on TV, we saw white supremacists stroll past Capitol Police, untouched and unscathed. Just minutes after we had locked our door, the mob entered the House Rotunda," Bush wrote. "The rioters broke windows, sat in the House speaker's office and invaded the Senate floor."
Bush wrote that those who claim the riot was not representative of of America "deny the reality that Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate incited this coup by treasonously working to overturn the results of the presidential election."
"This is America, and it will continue to be America, until white supremacy is dismantled," Bush wrote. "Justice starts at removing each and every representative who incited this insurrection."
Bush's resolution calls for the expulsion of "Republican lawmakers who tried to overturn the valid results of the 2020 elections," citing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which posits that no individual can serve in the House of Representatives who has engaged in disloyalty or sedition against the United States.
"The actions of the Republican lawmakers who tried to overturn the valid results of the 2020 elections must not only be condemned in the strongest possible terms, but I believe the members who attempted to disenfranchise voters and incited this violence must be removed from Congress," Bush said in her Monday statement.
Bush continued: "This is sedition. We must hold these Republicans accountable for their role in this insurrection at our nation's Capitol as part of a racist attempt to overturn the election results. There must be consequences, and I am proud to be leading 47 of my colleagues in introducing this legislation, which would initiate the appropriate investigations for removal."
While it's unlikely that there would be enough votes to expel members of Congress from the legislative body, a number of Republican lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have been blamed for stoking the tensions that led to the attempted insurrection (during which at least five people died, including a Capitol Police officer).
Even some family members of elected officials (such as the siblings of Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar) have suggested they be expelled from Congress for their role in inciting the violence.
Republican senators who objected to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory, citing unfounded claims of voter fraud, include Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz.
Hawley — who was seen with his fist raised in solidarity as he walked by a group of Trump supporters before the riot — has been harshly criticized for his role in the events leading up to the attempted coup.
Just two days after the events, Simon & Schuster announced it had opted against publishing a planned book by Hawley, who is now also under fire by past donors and Republican Party leadership.
Last week, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for both Cruz and Haley to resign because of how their "self-serving actions contributed to the deaths" at the Capitol, writing on Twitter that if they do not, "the Senate should move for your expulsion."
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