Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said Thursday he would not have voted for a resolution honoring the work of Capitol staff on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol because of the language used. to describe the riot.
Hawley told the Congressional Record he would have voted no on the resolution, which passed by voice vote on Thursday, because he took issue with his saying the riot was carried out by violent insurgents. . His comment was first reported by Politico.
“Not a single person since that day has been charged with the crime of insurrection,” Hawley said. “If we want to honor Capitol Hill workers — and we should — we must do so in a way that focuses on their service to their nation, not on false narratives meant to divide us.”
Hawley also said the resolution was drafted to score “cheap partisan political points.” The measure focused on Capitol police and Capitol custodial, janitorial and maintenance staff — twice mentioning that a majority of them are black, Latino or other people of color — and their role in cleaning up in the aftermath of the riot which left smashed and smashed objects around the building.
He also thanked Capitol staff for their work during the pandemic “when many people on Capitol Hill have not taken COVID-19 seriously.”
Hawley’s explanation comes the same day 11 members of a group called the Oath Keepers were charged with seditious conspiracy for their role on January 6, the most serious charges among more than 700 people arrested in connection with the taking of the Capitol. .
Hawley’s office did not respond to a request for comment asking whether the seditious conspiracy charges affected his belief that insurrection was not an appropriate word for resolution.
While Hawley was the first senator to sign the objections against certification of the 2020 presidential election, he has repeatedly spoken out against the violence that took place on January 6. In his speech opposing the certification of Pennsylvania ballots, Hawley thanked Capitol police and said, “violence is not how you get change,” arguing that the Senate was the forum to raise concerns about the integrity of the election.
There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and all lawsuits brought by former President Donald Trump and his allies have been dismissed. Hawley opposed certification of the Pennsylvania election because it was overruled on procedural grounds, rather than on the merits of the case, due to when the law challenge was filed .
Republicans have downplayed the significance of Jan. 6, even as the Justice Department continues to arrest those who participated in the riot and a special House of Representatives committee investigates the day’s events .
Some senators who spoke out harshly about the violence in the aftermath of the riot — like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who called it a “despicable act of terrorism” on Jan. 7 — backtracked on their comments. Cruz was challenged by Tucker Carlson over his use of the phrase and backtracked, calling it “sloppy and stupid” phrasing.
Others, like Hawley, who were the target of protests and calls for resignation in the aftermath of the riot because of their votes against certification of the election, have increased their fundraising totals and saw little political repercussion.
Democrats, meanwhile, continued to focus on the day’s events. On the anniversary last week, Democrats held several events, including a video appearance by the cast of the musical Hamilton and a candlelight vigil.
This story was originally published January 14, 2022 3:01 p.m.