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Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: We must have a peaceful transfer of power

By U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

By Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

What happened yesterday (Wednesday) was disgraceful and un-American. Thugs assaulted Capitol Police officers, breached and defaced our Capitol Building, put people’s lives in danger, and disregarded the values we hold dear as Americans. To anyone involved, shame on you.

The reality in America today is that people are angry and are losing trust in our institutions. We, unfortunately, saw that to an unacceptable extreme yesterday (Wednesday), and we’ve seen it over the past year with riots across the United States and in cities like Portland and Seattle. We will not fix this unless each one of us starts doing our part to restore trust and confidence and build bridges to seek understanding with one another. It takes each one of us doing our part to build a more perfect union.

I also believe we must have a peaceful transfer of power. The only reason for my intention to object to some Electoral College votes was to give voice to the concern that governors and courts unilaterally changed election procedures without the will of the people and outside of the legislative process. I have been consistent in my belief that Americans should use the Constitutional tools and legal processes available to seek answers to their questions about the 2020 election.

The Constitution gives state legislatures the authority to set the election laws within their states, a process that ensures the people’s voices are amplified through their elected representatives. I have long been concerned about the power that the legislative branch, at both the state and national levels, has ceded to the executive and judicial branches. Leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, in some states, decisions about state election law moved outside of the legislative branch. In Georgia, the Secretary of State changed the process for verifying signatures on mail-in ballots, and in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court unilaterally extended the deadline to accept mail-in ballots. There are examples we can point to in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada, too. In each of these states, the voices of “We, The People” were silenced.

Our opportunity for discussion and debate on the election was interrupted and ended because of what happened yesterday. What we have seen is unlawful and unacceptable. I made the decision yesterday (Wednesday) that I would not vote to object to the Electoral College counts and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness. It’s time to move on.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the representative for Washington’s 5th congressional district.

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