January 8, 2012 – As the first full work week of the new year draws to a close, it has become apparent that the wish of a slightly-more-normal 2021 held by so many Americans has already been squandered.
In a mere five days, this country has experienced record-shattering COVID-19 infection and death rates, a partisan flip in the United States Senate, an overt attempt by Trump-tied lawmakers to overturn the will of millions of voters vis-à-vis an obstructed electoral vote certification, and a domestic terrorist attack at the U.S. Capitol stoked by the president’s incendiary rhetoric.
Here’s a look back at an exhausting week of Republican obstruction as struggling everyday Americans beg to turn the page on this administration and ring in a new dawn of leadership.
More Obstruction on Vote Certification
Even after a violent insurrection at the Capitol encouraged by President Trump, the president’s allies in the Senate continued their campaign to delay the inevitable certification of results from the November election.
Ted Cruz says he’d object to Biden electors even knowing about riot, blasts Trump for ‘reckless’ rhetoric. “It was a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol, it is despicable,” he told KXAS, echoing a point he made in his Twitter spat with Ocasio-Cortez. Debating election integrity on the Senate floor, he said, “has nothing to do with criminal terrorist assault.” [Dallas News, 1/7/21]
The one question Sen. Cruz must answer. “How does your forcing votes in which you know Congress will defeat your objections and dismiss your proposal in any way serve your express goals of “supporting election integrity” and “restoring faith in our democracy,” which you grant are necessary to protect the legitimacy of future administrations?” [The Hill, 1/5/21]
Sen. Ron Johnson defends decision to challenge Joe Biden’s election victory. “Johnson is one of a dozen Republican senators planning to object the results in several states. Eleven of the senators released a letter Saturday announcing their vote against certification unless there’s an audit of the election.” [WISN, 1/3/21]
Congress completes electoral count, finalizing Biden’s win after violent delay from pro-Trump mob. “Congress has formally affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, completing a final step in the electoral process after a mob incited by President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers to evacuate both the House and Senate chambers.” [CNN, 1/7/21]
MEMO: Electoral College Certification Protest Is The Latest Step By Republicans To Ignore American People For Their Own Personal Gain. “The efforts of congressional Republicans today—an attempt to overturn a democratically-held election in which President-elect Biden won both the Electoral College and the popular vote by more than eight million votes—is unprecedented, extreme, and dangerous.” [Accountable.US, 1/6/21]
As Jobless Ranks Grow, Progress on Aid Shrinks Amid this week’s chaos, some painful patterns remained constant: American families are still waiting for lawmakers to provide substantial relief and unemployment support as jobless claims continue to climb.
Lingering High Unemployment in Trump Recession Leaves McConnell No Excuse to Obstruct Real Pandemic Relief. “The unemployment rate is at an unacceptably high 6.7 percent and an even worse 9.9 percent among Black Americans. Additionally, more than 19 million Americans continue to draw jobless benefits amid an uncontrolled pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 350,000 Americans.” [Accountable.US, 1/8/21]
House GOP Blocks Dems Attempt to Pass $2,000 Stimulus Checks. “Trump is ending his presidency much the way he started it — sowing confusion and reversing promises all while contesting the election and courting a federal shutdown over demands his own party in Congress will not meet.” [NBC, 12/24/20]
Unemployment claims increase as many await federal help. “New jobless claims jumped 65% in Georgia in the past week as the pandemic’s slow recovery stretched into 2021.” [AJC, 1/7/21]
Transition Delays Risk Public Safety With Senate Republicans working hard to construct as many roadblocks as possible between now and Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden could end up starting his tenure without a single confirmed Cabinet secretary — putting the nation’s public health and national security at an even greater risk than it currently faces.
Biden in danger of having no confirmed Cabinet secretaries on first day of presidency. “For decades, Senate Republicans and Democrats have shelved their political differences to ensure a seamless transition between administrations, especially in the departments responsible for safeguarding the country against foreign and domestic threats.” [Washington Post, 1/7/21]
Biden Poised To Enter Presidency With Fewest Cabinet Confirmations In Decades. “With less than two weeks before he assumes office, President-elect Joe Biden is on track to have very few, if any, Cabinet members confirmed on Inauguration Day, the first president to face such a personnel issue in recent history.” [NPR, 1/8/21]
Biden won’t have his defense secretary in place on Day One. “U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is pressuring Congress to quickly confirm his nominees for national security roles, but it appears the congressional calendar won’t permit his pick for defense secretary to be in place on Day One of the Biden administration.” [Defense News, 1/7/21]
Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.