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Bush Wants To Kick Out Colleagues Who Tried To Overturn Biden’s Win

Cori Bush addresses supporters on Tuesday night, Nov. 3, 2020, after the results of her 1st Congressional District race became final. Bush is sponsoring a resolution calling on the House Ethics Committee to expel lawmakers that supported overturning Joe Biden's presidential victory
File photo / Theo R. Welling
Special to St. Louis Public Radio
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-St. Louis County, wants to take action against members of Congress who backed overturning the election of Joe Biden. She is shown here on election night in November.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush has only been on the job for a little more than a week, but after experiencing an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol, the St. Louis County Democrat wants those who backed efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory kicked out of Congress.

Bushintroduced her first resolution as a congresswoman on Monday, calling on the Committee on Ethics to 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 Rules of the House of Representatives.”

It also calls for the Ethics Committee to determine whether they should face sanction, including expulsion from the House.

“This was a clear attempt to overturn a presidential election and incite an insurrection against the U.S. government in the process,” said Bush in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. “We have to move urgently in defense of our communities and our democracy.”

Bush’s resolution has more than 40 cosponsors, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.; and Danny Davis, D-Illinois.

“Those who are providing comfort and aid to those insurrectionists, we have to have them removed from office,” Bush said. “Because if we do not, we open the door for this to happen again.”

Whether Bush’s desire to see members expelled actually happens is an open question. Kicking someone out of the House or Senate requires two-thirds of a legislative chamber, and many House Republicans — including some of Bush’s colleagues from Missouri — are defending their decisions to challenge Biden’s win.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, for instance, said last week that Trump’s “unpresidential remarks” made it hard to object to Biden’s wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania. But she added that “objecting to some states’ electors is not about President Trump or President-elect Biden.”

“The need to ensure election integrity has not changed, and the concerns regarding voter integrity are not washed away because protesters, many of whom supported President Trump, stormed the Capitol,” Hartzler wrote in a Facebook post.

In addition to Hartzler, GOP Sen. Josh Hawley and Missouri Reps. Jason Smith, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sam Graves and Billy Long also voted to reject Biden’s Arizona and Pennsylvania electors. Those efforts failed by a wide margin.

Bush said it was profoundly disrespectful for Republicans to continue their objections after Trump supporters put the lives of members of Congress and their staffs at risk. She also said Section 3 of the 14th Amendment makes clear that no member of Congress shall “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
President Donald Trump will likely face impeachment in the U.S. House later this week.

Impeachment vote looms

Bush’s second week in office will include another trial by fire: voting on impeaching Trump for inciting insurrection last Wednesday.

In addition to being a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which historically conducts impeachment proceedings, Bush is one of 218 cosponsors to an impeachment resolution that will likely get a vote on Wednesday.

Both Bush and Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City have expressed support for impeaching Trump, who is to leave office in nine days. Many lawmakers want to move forward with impeachment so he’s barred from ever seeking federal office again. Bush said keeping Trump in office is dangerous.

“As the days go by, the longer we allow him to continue to sit in that seat, the more of a danger he is,” Bush said. “And if we don’t make that clear message now, we don’t know what could happen over the next few days.”

But even if Trump is impeached for an unprecedented second time, there’s no guarantee that there will be enough support in the Senate to actually remove him from office. Two-thirds of the Senate needs to vote in favor of removal, which is a difficult task given that the Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Sen. Roy Blunt told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that while Trump’s “decisions and his actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless,” he’s not a supporter of impeachment.

“Is there any likelihood that he could possibly be removed between now and January the 20th? If there's no additional ensuing event, my belief is there is no possibility of that,” Blunt said.

Regardless of what happens on impeachment, Bush said she and other members of the House Oversight Committee will be looking into the violent storming of the Capitol.

“We have to get to the bottom of it,” Bush said. “And I am so thankful that I am on two committees where we can investigate and hold people accountable — especially our colleagues.”

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.