Hawley says he wouldn’t have voted for January 6 resolution honoring capitol staff

·3 min read
ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP/TNS

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Thursday that he would not have voted for a resolution honoring the work of Capitol personnel on the anniversary of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol because of the language it used to describe the riot.

Hawley explained to the Congressional Record that he would have voted no on the resolution, which passed by a voice vote on Thursday, because he objected to the fact that it said the riot was perpetrated by violent insurrectionists. His comment was first reported by Politico.

“Not a single person from that day has been charged with the crime of insurrection,” Hawley said. “If we are going to honor Capitol Hill workers—and we should—we must do so in a manner that focuses on their service to their nation, not on false narratives that are meant to divide us.”

Hawley also said the resolution was written to score “cheap partisan political points.” The measure focused on Capitol police and the Capitol custodial, janitorial and maintenance staff — mentioning twice 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 broken and shattered objects around the building.

It also thanked the Capitol staff for working during the pandemic “while many individuals in the Capitol have not taken COVID–19 seriously.”

Hawley’s explanation comes the same day that 11 members of a group called the Oath Keepers were charged with seditious conspiracy for their role on January 6, the most severe charges among the more than 700 people who have been arrested in connection with the storming of the Capitol.

Hawley’s office did not respond to a request for comment asking if the seditious conspiracy charges affected his belief that insurrection wasn’t an appropriate word for the resolution.

While Hawley was the first Senator to sign onto the objections against certifying the 2020 presidential election, he has repeatedly denounced the violence that took place on January 6. In his speech objecting to the certification of Pennsylvania’s ballots, Hawley thanked the Capitol police and said “violence is not how you achieve change,” arguing that the senate was the forum to raise concerns about the integrity of the election.

There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and all of the legal cases brought by former President Donald Trump and his allies were dismissed. Hawley opposed the certification of the Pennsylvania election because it was dismissed on procedural grounds, rather than on the merits of the case, because of the timing of when the challenge to the law was filed.

Republicans have downplayed the significance of January 6, even as the Department of Justice continues to arrest people who participated in the riot and a special committee in the House of Representatives is investigating the events of the day.

Some Senators who harshly denounced the violence in the immediate aftermath of the riot — like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who called it a “despicable act of terrorism” on January 7 — have walked back their comments. Cruz was challenged by Tucker Carlson over his use of the phrase and backtracked, calling it “sloppy and dumb” phrasing.

Others, like Hawley, who were the target of protests and calls for resignation in the immediate aftermath of the riot because of their votes objecting to the certification of the election, have increased their fundraising totals and have seen few political repercussions.

Democrats, meanwhile, have continued to emphasize the events of the day. On the anniversary last week, Democrats held several events, including a video appearance from the cast of the musical Hamilton and a candlelight vigil.

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