GOP Wisconsin senators deny resolution condemning Capitol siege

Senate President Chris Kapenga didn't let the resolution come to the floor, saying it wasn't relevant.

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Republican State Senators in Wisconsin blocked a resolution that would have been a condemnation of the deadly insurrection that took place in the U.S. Capitol last week. 

On Tuesday, Wisconsin State Senate President Chris Kapenga did not allow the resolution to come to the floor, saying it was not relevant to state business. Other Republicans agreed with Kapenga and blocked the resolution. 

A group of pro-Trump protesters wave flags while standing on an armored police vehicle on the grounds of the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, where the mob stormed, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the resolution also would have acknowledged that Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 presidential election. 

Wisconsin is one of the swing states whose election results President Donald Trump contested. Two of its House representatives did too, even after the “Stop the Steal” storming. One of Wisconsin’s senators in Washington D.C., Ron Johnson, a vocal Trump supporter, withdrew his objection to the ratification of President-elect Biden’s Electoral College victory in the wake of the violence.

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But Johnson had been one of the single biggest promoters of Trump’s election-fraud lies. Three days before the Capitol siege, in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Johnson repeated his claims questioning the results of the election.

“The fact of the matter,” he argued, “is that we have a(n) unsustainable state of affairs in this country where we have tens of millions of people that do not view this election result as legitimate.”

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His assertions were denounced by former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, also a Republican from Wisconsin, who criticized Johnson and nine other Republican senators for their opposition. Ryan declared Biden’s victory “entirely legitimate.”

Wisconsin Democrats have invested $100,000 in television ads denouncing Johnson as “a leading member of the Senate’s Sedition Caucus.” The commercials will run across the state and in Washington, D.C. through Inauguration Day. 

Read More: Washington activists call for expulsion of some GOP lawmakers in wake of attempted coup

Democrat Jeff Smith argued that the Wisconsin resolution was important because of ongoing threats against states by violent right-wing organizations. 

“I do believe it has a lot to do with the organization of not only this Senate but the protection of this building,” Smith told the Journal-Sentinel in response to Kapenga’s ruling. The FBI has specifically named Wisconsin as a potential target for violence. 

“More than ever,” Smith said, the resolution “would be an opportunity to pull together and denounce what has been happening in this country and in this state regarding how our elections are run.”

Read More: 2 Virginia officers charged after allegedly storming Capitol

The rejected resolution also offered condolences to the family of Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed in the Capitol storming. 

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s governor, has ordered that exterior ground-floor windows of the State Capitol to be boarded up in advance of Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Workers began the task Monday.

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