Most of the real work in the U.S. Senate takes place in committees. Committees are where legislation is hashed out, hearings are held, and oversight is performed. In many ways, a senator’s committee assignments determine whether or not he or she will make an impact while serving in the upper chamber of Congress.
But should a senator who helped incite the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 be allowed to serve on a committee? That’s the question currently being debated inside Democratic Senate leadership, especially as it relates to Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
In case you were wondering, Cruz and Hawley serve on some very influential and prestigious Senate committees. Cruz is on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees while Hawley serves on Judiciary and Armed Services.
But will Cruz and Hawley be serving on any committees once new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes committee assignments? Not if progressive group MoveOn can help it.
In a statement, Rahna Epting, MoveOn’s executive director, announced on Thursday:
“Elected officials like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and other senators who sought to use their power to promote the big lie to overturn the results of the 2020 election—and who incited a deadly insurrection—have no place in the U.S. Senate and most certainly should not be rewarded for their deadly attacks on democracy with seats leading important committees in the next Congress.
“Senate Majority Leader Schumer must work to ensure that any power-sharing agreement with Mitch McConnell keeps these insurrectionist senators from committee positions where they can use their influence to further undermine our democracy. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and their allies in the Senate must be held accountable for their attacks on our democracy.”
Since Schumer has yet to reach an agreement on an organizing resolution that would establish the rules and committee assignments for incoming Senate members, Schumer still has the time and the power to assure that Cruz and Hawley are denied the ability to serve on any committee, or to name them to committees that have little or no power or prestige.
Any member of Congress who took part in stirring up the crowd that stormed the Capitol shouldn’t be allowed to serve. But if they do remain, they should be stripped of all the benefits other members enjoy. That’s the price you pay for sedition.