Keller, Toomey denounce violence
U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, joined the chorus of political leaders castigating the violence in Washington amidst the protests certifying electoral votes.
The lawmaker released the following statement Wednesday: “The violence happening at the U.S. Capitol is shameful, completely unacceptable, and un-American. This is not how our Republic should operate and the rioters must be fully prosecuted. My staff and I are safe and sheltered in place at a secure location. God bless our Capitol police and first responders.”
Keller was among eight House Republicans from Pennsylvania who indicated this week he would not support certifying the state’s 20 electoral votes for president-elect Joe Biden.
He was unable to be reached late Wednesday for further comment.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, had harsher words for the protesters.
“This is an absolute disgrace. I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances. I am currently safe as are the few members of my staff that are currently at the Capitol complex,” he said in an emailed statement.
Unlike Keller, Toomey made it clear he would support the certifying of votes.
“There is no such authority under the Constitution,” Toomey said on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon of the move to block certification. “The Constitution assigns to the states the responsibility to conduct elections. It’s clear.”
Toomey argued that the situation today is not analogous to any past election.
“Legislatures from the swing states have already spoken,” he said. “They’ve made their decision.”
Toomey also the “federalization” of election practices would destroy the electoral college and said requests for a commission to examine the election were unrealistic.
“It’s completely impractical and we all know it,” Toomey said on the Senate floor. “It’s not our job.”
Efforts to reach U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, for this story also were unsuccessful. Thompson had not posted any statements regarding the violence on social media either.
Thompson was among those who planned to oppose the Electoral College certification.
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said the D.C. National Guard have been fully activated to support police in quelling the violence.
“Chairman (of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark) Milley and I just spoke separately with the vice president and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol,” Miller said in an emailed statement. “We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.”