Arkansas' Congressional Delegation Condemns U.S. Capitol Riot
All members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation have condemned the actions of pro-Trump extremists who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, causing violence and the evacuation of the building.
The rioting began as the House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled to count and certify the Electoral College results for president.
According to NPR, a group of at least 12 Republican senators and dozens of members of the representatives were set to protest the formal count of votes that would certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
However, during the certification process, pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol and halted the process in which President-elect Joe Biden was to be certified as the winner.
Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas’ 1st District, said in a statement that "the actions by those who are lawlessly and forcefully entering the Capitol are disgraceful and reprehensible. I condemn those whose actions are endangering the Capitol Hill police, other LEO personnel, Members, staff and employees of the Capitol."
Crawford had said Monday that he intended to object to the certification process.
Rep. French Hill, who represents Arkansas’ 2nd District which covers central Arkansas, tweeted "My family and I are safe. I condemn this violent protest. We are a nation of law and order, and it is disgraceful that the safety and security of our nation's capital and our governmental leaders are at risk."
Rep. Bruce Westerman, who represents Arkansas’ 4th District also spoke out on Twitter.
“"The violence and destruction taking place at the Capitol are unacceptable and must cease," Westerman said.
Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas’ 3rd District, issued a statement on the certification process, saying he would uphold the Electoral College’s decision.
"I fully realize a large number of my constituents want a different outcome. I, too, wanted a different outcome. But the consequences of staging a certain losing battle on this issue jeopardizes our Republic and the foundational system that has served America since its beginning," Womack said.
Tweeting after House representatives were forced to evacuate the building, Womack said "Every American has the right to peacefully protest, but the violence we are witnessing on U.S. Capitol grounds is unacceptable. Attacking property and the brave men and women of the @CapitolPolice must stop. I strongly condemn these acts. Our nation is better than this."
Prior to Wednesday’s electoral vote certification, both of Arkansas’ U.S. senators released statements saying they would not be challenging the election results.
Sen. Tom Cotton, who recently published his reasoning for his decision in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, said "objecting to certified electoral votes won't give him a second term--it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government."
Cotton’s statement brought the ire of Trump, who tweeted at the senator on Monday that "Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, they never forget!"
Tweeting from both of his accounts Wednesday, Cotton spoke against the actions of the rioters, saying in one statement "Violence and anarchy are unacceptable. We are a nation of laws. This needs to end now."
Sen. John Boozman, who published a statement on Tuesday saying he too would not be challenging the electoral college results, tweeting Wednesday afternoon, "The violence and destruction taking place at the Capitol are unacceptable and must cease."
The actions from pro-trump extremists also brought criticisms from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who previously served as a congressman and later head of Homeland Security. He said in a statement, "To see protesters in our nation’s Capitol invading the Halls of Congress & disrupting the peaceful transfer of power is reprehensible."