Congress’ decision late last night to certify the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States was a victory for democracy on a day when it was threatened like never before—both inside the U.S. Capitol and from the White House itself.
This election was free and fair and reflected the will of the American people. The Biden-Harris ticket won 306 Electoral College votes to the Trump-Pence ticket’s 232 votes. The Biden-Harris ticket also won the popular vote by more than 7 million. It wasn’t even close.
Congress’ sole constitutional duty was to ratify the Electoral College votes as certified by each state and to reject Donald Trump’s treasonous coup attempt. Thankfully, the majority of the House and Senate did that.
But by voting to overturn the will of the voters, seven U.S. Senators and 138 U.S. Representatives revealed their contempt for democracy and violated their oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Their actions were all the more shameful for occurring in the aftermath of the violent, insurrectionist assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob incited to sedition by the President of the United States.
That is why we join North America’s Building Trades Unions’ (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey’s call for “President Trump to immediately step down and transfer power per the Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. If he refuses, the Cabinet must immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President. Any less action by the Cabinet, and America should consider them all co-conspirators.”
Similarly, we join President McGarvey’s call for Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and all other members of Congress who joined Trump’s coup attempt to immediately resign.
Yesterday, our democracy teetered on the brink of collapse. The will of the people was at risk of being overturned. Thankfully, the majority of Congress would not be intimidated. Democracy, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution prevailed. The winners of this free and fair election, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, will be sworn in on January 20, 2021.
Let us move forward from this frightening day chastened by the fragility of democracy, more determined than ever to ensure that it is never threatened again and to hold accountable those who sought to destroy it. Let us restore decency, respect and civility to our body politic. And let us do everything we can to ensure that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are able to succeed in taming the COVID pandemic, getting America back to work, solving our nation’s problems, improving the well-being of all Americans, upholding the rule of law, and strengthening our democracy.
Daniel E. Stepano