Democratic Senator Patty Murray has emerged the highest-ranking Democratic lawmaker to demand Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley resign, joining growing protests and calls for their resignations or expulsions from Congress after the senators objected to Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election.
Chris Coons, Democratic senator from Delaware, has also called on the two GOP senators to resign.
More than a dozen House Democrats are supporting a resolution targeting members of Congress who have supported efforts to overturn election results, provoking a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters to storm the Capitol and threaten lawmakers barricaded inside the building on 6 January, as they convened to formally certify Electoral College votes.
In Houston, protests demanded the Texas senator step down. Texas Democrats Joaquin Castro and his brother Julian Castro also called on Senator Cruz to resign. The hashtag #RESIGNCRUZ trended on Twitter on Friday.
Missouri’s Kansas City Star, Senator Hawley’s home-state newspaper, issued a damning editorial placing the failed insurrection’s blame on his shoulders and writing that he "has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt.”
The editorial said that "no one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible” for the violence that led to the death of at least five people at the Capitol, including a Capitol police officer struck in the head with a fire extinguisher and a woman who was fatally shot by Capitol police officer.
Asked whether they should resign on Friday, president-elect Joe Biden said they should be “flat beaten” the next time they run for office, calling their terms “part of the big lie” and comparing them to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
He also said prominent Republicans have admitted to him that “the Ted Cruzes of the world are as responsible, in terms of people believing the lies" as the president.
In his remarks to the Senate, Senator Cruz defended his objections, claiming that many Americans believe the election is “rigged” against them, indulging the president’s lies about voter fraud and election integrity despite a lack of meaningful evidence from neither the president’s own campaign or administration.
Senator Murray said that “there can be no normalising or looking away from what played out before our eyes this week.”
“The violent mob that attacked the Capitol was made up of people who don’t accept democracy, and want to take this country by use of force,” she said in a statement on Friday. “This is not how we keep our people and our country free. As a Senator, I respect every member who disagrees with my ideas. I reserve my right to use my voice to fight for what I believe in. At the end of the day, our job is to keep this country a democracy where voices win, not brute force. Any Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office. Senators Hawley and Cruz should resign.”
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, considered a potential 2024 presidential contender, condemned senators Cruz and Hawley after their campaigns sent fundraising texts and emails during the Capitol siege.
“Some senators who, for political advantage, were giving false hope to their supporters, misleading them into thinking that somehow … Congress could reverse the results of the election or even get some kind of emergency audit," he told Fox News on Thursday. “That was never going to happen, yet these senators, as insurrectionists literally stormed the Capitol, were sending out fundraising emails.”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Senator Cruz "must accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people yesterday. And how you fundraised off this riot. Both you and Senator Hawley must resign. If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion.”