The US House of Representatives chamber came close to witnessing a fist-fight on Thursday when lawmakers reconvened after a recess triggered by the violent breaching of the Capitol building by Trump supporters.
A debate had unfolded in the House and Senate over Pennsylvania’s electoral vote, after Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri objected to the counting of the state’s ballots.
My Rep Conor Lamb screaming his outrage about GOP objections to electoral college. pic.twitter.com/HVo7baVNCy— Stephanie from Blue State (@stephofimperial) January 7, 2021
Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., made a fiery speech in the House, during which he said Republican Party (GOP) members who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s confirmation did not need to “strip this Congress of its dignity”, as he referenced the violent ‘mob’ that breached the Capitol on Wednesday as a joint session of Congress had convened to certify Biden’s election win.
“We know that that attack today, it didn’t materialise out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies — the same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight. The members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them,” said Lamb.
His words referenced Donald Trump’s long-argued claim that the election had been ‘stolen’ from him due to widespread ‘fraud’.
Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va., however, took issue with this viewpoint and moved to have the comments struck from the record, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denying the request as “not timely.”
As Lamb continued, exclaiming that “the truth hurts, it hurts them. It hurts this country. It hurts all of us,” passions flared, with Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Colin Allred, D-Tex., reportedly yelling at each other from across the House floor to sit down.
“Sit down!” cried one, while the other replied, “No, you sit down!”
A fight nearly broke out on the House floor after Republican objectors refused to hear the truth from Rep. Conor Lamb pic.twitter.com/P9nYVouBJC— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 8, 2021
Following that, a few Republicans and Democrats are believed to have engaged in a scuffle away from cameras’ view, meeting down the aisle and causing about a dozen lawmakers to clear their benches to intervene, according to CNN.
As Nancy Pelosi banged her gavel and demanded “there’ll be order in the House,” further physical violence was averted.
The offices of Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Al Lawson (D-Fla.) and Colin Allred (D-Tex.) subsequently confirmed they had not been involved in the argument.
Congressman Allred later released a statement declining involvement in the alleged near-brawl, insisting he only stepped in to ‘calm’ the situation.
Trump Blamed for Inciting ‘Mob’
Since the events of that day, which resulted in the death of five people in a standoff between the protesting mob and law enforcement, Trump has been accused of having ‘incited’ the violence by reiterating his claims of vote ‘rigging’.
Despite the fact that the sitting president never explicitly urged anyone from among his supporters to violent actions, a strong chorus of voices from among the Democratic ranks has been urging that Trump be removed from office, either by impeachment proceedings, or by invoking the 25th Amendment.
Donald Trump, who had long refused to concede defeat in the election, finally committed himself to an ‘orderly’ transition of power after the events in the Capitol. President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in on 20 January at a ceremony the sitting president, however, has declared he will not be attending.