Reed Strongly Condemns Actions In Washington
With less than two weeks before Joe Biden is sworn in as the next president of the United States, Rep. Tom Reed does not feel President Trump needs to be removed from office, although he strongly condemns the actions that occurred in the U.S. Capitol shortly before Biden’s victory was certified.
“This was one of the most disheartening moments of my entire life,” Reed said during a news briefing over Zoom Wednesday afternoon.
Reed, a Republican from Corning who is also a co-chairman of Problem Solvers Caucus, spoke out against the storming of the Capitol in the overnight hours to his fellow collages. “I love this institution. I love the United States Congress and I love the United States of America. And what I saw today was mob rule that spat upon the blood of my father that is in the soil of Europe and in the soil of Korea and who gave us, through that blood, this sacred Constitution and this sacred ability to lead this world as a power that says: We settle our differences not with mob rule. We settle our differences through elections,” he said on the floor.
Reed was not one of the Republican members of Congress who had prepared to voice an objection to Biden’s certification. Still, he said he understood concerns of registered Republicans who have stated that the election was “stolen” from Trump.
“What we do with those individuals is we say look, this is democracy. It’s hard, it’s not perfect and often people we support may not win an election but it doesn’t mean we disengage. It doesn’t mean that we walk away. It means what we do is we engage as potential adversaries on policy but we engage in the common bond that we are American citizens,” he said.
Some on Capitol Hill have suggested impeaching Trump or invoking the 25th Amendment and have him removed from his last two weeks in office. Among those calling for that is Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.
“This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said in a statement Wednesday. “The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the vice president to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Section 4 of the amendment, which has been highly cited by lawmakers in the aftermath of a pro-Trump attack on the nation’s Capitol, gives the vice president and “a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress” the authority to declare that the president is unable to do his job. If they agree the president is unfit, the vice president would take over.
Reed, however, does not support such a move.
“We have 13 days until President Biden will be inaugurated in as the next president of the United States. To me, that’s the more appropriate approach to take. … You have to remember, there are still millions of people out there that are filled with this anger, that are filled with this fear.”
Reed noted that on Wednesday morning, Trump issued a statement said there would be “an orderly transition on January 20th” and Reed said he believes him. “To me that’s a very positive sign that we are going to go through the next 13 days the way that we should – without anymore of this rhetoric, anymore of this type of incitement, anymore of this type of exchange that we saw yesterday on the National Mall, and that is good.”
Reed also has hope for the Republican Party moving forward. “We are the party of the people. We are the party of freedom. We are the party of innovation. We are the party of opportunity,” he said. “I think the Republican Party will rise out of this situation and we will lead the country in a way that offers that vision that Ronald Reagan did.”
Reed also said he believes the Republican Party needs to win the popular vote nationally. “I love the Electoral College. I will defend the Electoral College and that’s my vote that I put on the record yesterday under the Constitution, but one of the things I want to be part of is a Republican Party that wins the national popular vote, which shows me the American people have given us their trust and we won their hearts and minds with that trust in their vote.”