WASHINGTON — Despite riots at the Capitol, Republican lawmakers from the DMV continued to object to some of the electoral college votes when Congress reconvened last night. That has some Democrats condemning them and even calling for resignations.
Democrats used words like “shameless,” “hollow” and “complicit in this attempted insurrection" to describe the actions by some of their Republican colleagues.
After rioters breached the Capitol doors and stormed the complex in a deadly confrontation, Congress eventually returned to the House and Senate floors to continue certifying Electoral College votes to confirm Joe Biden's presidential victory.
Two local representatives continued to object to the electoral college votes even after the attempted insurrection at the Capitol.
“This is not about overturning the election,” Virginia Republican Congressman Rob Wittman said. “It's about making sure people have confidence in the election system.”
Wittman decided to continue to object to Pennsylvania's votes. We asked if he thought twice about noting these objections once the Capitol was breached.
“I was deeply concerned about that; that was a blemish on our history, and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” he responded. “That's why I think yesterday was so critical in making sure we have this debate so that people's thoughts and concerns can be expressed.”
Jan. 6 Capitol Riots
We wanted to know if he had any fear the tone or debate might encourage the rioters.
“Listen, people disagree, which was exactly the way things were supposed to take place, and that should be the conduit for folks to express what they believe needs to happen, what the issues are in the nation,” Wittman answered. “I want to make sure that they're expressed that way rather than other outlet.”
The breach did seem to change some members’ minds. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said before Wednesday there was a longer list of Senators who were going to object to votes. When they got back to the floor that night, that list had gotten much shorter. Some even said after what they'd seen, they couldn't do what they had planned.
In Maryland, some Democrats are calling for the resignation of the only Republican in their delegation, Congressman Andy Harris, who was reportedly involved in a scuffle on the floor during the floor discussion on the electoral college votes.
“Representative Harris’ actions have been nothing short of an attack on our democracy, a betrayal of those who he represents, and an attempt to overturn a legitimate election in favor of a wannabe authoritarian,” Yvette Lewis, Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, said in a statement.
WUSA9 reached out multiple times to Harris for an interview.
His office only sent a statement: “I have routinely and consistently rejected violent protests, whether in the case of yesterday, or last summer. Democrats are calling for unity, yet also calling for the expulsion of Members who objected in yesterday’s Electoral College count. Today, some Marylanders are even calling for my resignation, which I will not do. My colleagues and I held legitimate Constitutional concerns about how the November election was conducted in certain states and felt compelled to highlight those concerns during the formal vote count. We did not call for the overthrowing of an election. Joe Biden will be President on January 20th. Some of my colleagues, including those still in the Maryland delegation, offered objections in 2017 when counting the electoral votes for President Trump. Congress is afforded the right to count, and object, to electoral votes, which we utilized yesterday to highlight concerns we had regarding the November election. There was nothing treasonous or seditious about it in 2017, nor this year.”
Now, both sides and both chambers need to figure how to move forward from here.
“Look, we've got to consider the accountability of members of this body,” Senator Kaine said. The House can do its own work on the House side, but we have to consider whether there are consequences for this.”