This story originally appeared in Common Dreams on Dec. 27, 2021. It is shared here with permission under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license.
US Rep. Cori Bush declared Monday that lawmakers should commemorate the upcoming one-year anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 attack by passing her resolution to “investigate and expel the members of Congress who helped incite the violent insurrection at our Capitol.”
The Missouri Democrat took office just a few days before the attack and announced House Resolution 25 just hours after a right-wing mob—encouraged by then-President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans’ lies about the November 2020 election—launched the attack.
Bush’s resolution—backed by 54 other Democrats—states that the House Committee on Ethics “shall investigate, and issue a report on, whether any and all actions taken by members of the 117th Congress who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution,” or the chamber’s rules, and should be removed.
The takeover of the Capitol came immediately after an incendiary speech from Trump that led to his historic second impeachment—and as more than 100 Republican lawmakers were in the process of contesting the Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden.
“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” Bush said at the time, announcing her first-ever resolution. “They have broken their sacred oath of office.”
The congresswoman’s comments Monday echoed similar calls for accountability in recent months.
After Rolling Stone reported in late October that “multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning” Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss and the Jan. 6 events, Bush and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—an original co-sponsor of H.Res. 25—demanded the expulsion of members who helped spark the violence.
A few days later, John Nichols, The Nation‘s national affairs correspondent, wrote that “Congress should identify, investigate, and expel members of the House and Senate who aided and abetted the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”
“That is the constitutionally appropriate and practically necessary response to a coup attempt that now appears to have involved not just violent right-wing extremists from across the country but also Republican representatives,” he added, calling out some lawmakers by name.
The advocacy group Free Speech for People, which “works to renew our democracy and our United States Constitution for we the people,” has a petition urging the expulsion of “insurrectionist lawmakers.”
The petition states in part that “we cannot allow these members of Congress to continue representing the American people through the very democratic processes they sought to overturn.”
H.Res. 25 also blasts attempts to undermine US democracy, saying that the House “condemns all targeted and malicious efforts to disenfranchise Black, Brown, and Indigenous voters.”
Bush’s new push to pass the measure comes as a House panel continues to investigate the deadly attack and the nation’s “backsliding” democracy faces growing scrutiny, particularly in the wake of Biden’s global summit earlier this month and amid rising concerns about GOP attempts to influence next year’s midterm elections through state-level voter suppression laws and gerrymandered political maps.
Democratic federal lawmakers are under mounting pressure to urgently pass legislation to protect US democracy.
Though Democrats have a majority in the House, Republicans in the evenly divided Senate have repeatedly blocked pro-democracy bills this year, bolstering calls for abolishing the filibuster to send voting rights legislation to Biden’s desk well before 2022’s elections.