WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 6, Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office released the following statement after a mob, incited by President Trump, assaulted police officers and stormed the Capitol, and a group of Republican senators attempted to block the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote in the November 2020 presidential election:
“Americans have witnessed many foreign strongmen ignore elections to cling to power. I never thought we would see this kind of attempted coup in our most hallowed temple of democracy, but that’s exactly what’s happened today. The American people have rejected Donald Trump’s failed leadership, but he and his loyalists were trying to find any means by which to keep him in power. That is unacceptable in our republic.
“There is no evidence of any systemic fraud in any of the six states Republicans planned to challenge. All such claims were examined not only by respective state authorities, but by the courts. But the failure of Republican leaders to stand up and speak the truth and dismiss the false claims and conspiracy theories promoted by President Trump fueled today’s attempted insurrection. When a president attempts to deceive the public and inspire an anti-democratic revolt, it’s the responsibility of all to stand up, set the record straight, and protect and defend our constitutional republic.
“We now have a tremendous amount to do to restore our institutions so deeply damaged over the last four years. We have pressing challenges in our nation, and we need to have everyone engaged in addressing them. The point of serving in a republic is to produce solutions and remedies to the issues people face, not to hold power for power’s sake.
“I look forward to serving in the Senate while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lead our nation. We must immediately address the economic and health care issues raised by the pandemic. We need to invest in the foundations for families to thrive, which means health care, housing, education and good paying jobs. We need to restore our democracy and take on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dark money, the real issues corrupting our election system. And we need to take on the biggest issue facing our planet: Climate chaos.
“We have much work to do, and we need to get to that work right away. I hope that a few hours from now, the Senate will be able to return to the floor of the Senate to complete its debate on whether to accept the electoral votes from Arizona, and then to join with the House to complete the counting of electoral votes from across the nation. That is our responsibility under the Constitution. Let’s get it done tonight, and then let’s go to work on these important issues facing our democracy.”