Dr. Bucshon’s Statement on Electoral Vote Certification
Washington, January 7, 2021
“Yesterday, the United States changed. The U.S. Capitol was breached for the first time since 1814 when the British took over and burned the Capitol during the War of 1812. Congress was in the middle of the Joint Session to count the electoral college votes which will determine the next President and Vice President when the events began to take place. After meeting in the Joint Session, both bodies of Congress, in their separate chambers, were debating a bicameral objection to the electors from the State of Arizona. That’s when notification came that the Capitol had been breached and the security situation had deteriorated. Vice President Pence and congressional leadership were quickly ushered to safety. Members of Congress were also ushered to safe locations. Fortunately, I was in my office in the Rayburn House Office Building and only had to ensure the doors were locked.
“Before it was all over, a fellow citizen lay dead, and rioters had taken over the Senate floor, occupied the Speaker's office and tried to take over the House floor. The latter resulting in an armed confrontation risking more lives. The rioters walked unfettered through Statuary Hall and the Capitol Rotunda. The U.S. Capitol Police were overwhelmed and required the assistance of the Secret Service, FBI, U.S. Marshals and ultimately the National Guard to regain control of the Capitol. Many law enforcement officers were injured and needed medical care.
“This breach was an attempt to force the Congress to overturn an election for which the rioters did not like the result. An insurrection against the Federal Government. Unfortunately, earlier in the day President Trump, in a speech on the National Mall, incited the crowd to do just that.President Trump said, “We are going to the Capitol” to “try and give them the pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” I cannot condone this dangerous rhetoric by the President. Words have meaning and many of the President’s supporters took him literally, resulting in the attempted insurrection. I voted for the President, twice. I have supported his policies and I’m proud of the great successes the President and Congressional Republicans have accomplished on behalf of the American people on a whole host of issues. I am pleased that President Trump has appointed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court and dozens more to lower courts which were all confirmed by the Republican majority in the Senate. This is bigger than any one President. In the United States, we do not solve our political differences with violence. In addition, politicians don’t attempt to hold on to power by resorting to insurrection. We have elections and then a peaceful transition of power.
“No doubt, there were substantial issues with the 2020 election. However, in over two months since the election, the President’s legal team has not succeeded in proving to the courts that action must be taken in this election. Election law reform must be undertaken at the state level. This is fundamentally an issue of federalism. Article 1, Section 4, of the Constitution is clear that states set election law in their state through the legislature. The Supreme Court does need to clarify the exact role of the “legislature” in setting election law in each state. For example, can legislatures delegate the authority to executive branch officials and can State courts subsequently approve the changes made? That is open for debate until clarified.
“All fifty states have certified their Electoral College votes. No state has submitted competing electors. In addition, the role of Congress other than counting the votes at this point in the process is debatable. I was prepared to join some of my colleagues in objecting to certain states that clearly had election process issues and/or questions of concern in order to further the debate on a path forward—until today. The outcome is certain, and the point of objecting was to elevate the issue of election fraud to the National consciousness. That objective has been accomplished, and the risk of further civil unrest is real. Due to this, along with the actions of the President yesterday and his harsh unfounded criticism of my friend Vice President Mike Pence, I have voted against the objections to the Electoral College votes legally submitted by the states. Both of Indiana’s U.S. Senators have joined me in doing the same.”