Progressives Urge Senate Leaders to Deny Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz Committee Seats

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been urged to block Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other lawmakers who opposed the certification of Electoral College votes from holding committee seats.

Progressive group MoveOn has urged Schumer to stop such lawmakers being granted committee positions, as part of a continued backlash against them following the violence of January 6.

Cruz and Hawley have both faced calls to resign after having opposed states' Electoral College votes, a move they have each defended.

The Capitol riot, which left five people dead, came after supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in Washington, D.C. to rally against the results as Congress counted the Electoral College votes. Lawmakers have suggested their words encouraged the actions of those involved.

"Elected officials like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the other Senators who sought to use their power to promote the big lie to overturn the results of the 2020 election—and who incited a deadly insurrection—have no place in the U.S. Senate and most certainly should not be rewarded for their deadly attacks on democracy with seats leading important committees in the next Congress," Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn said in a statement.

"Senate Majority Leader Schumer must work to ensure that any power-sharing agreement with Mitch McConnell keeps these insurrectionist Senators from committee positions where they can use their influence to further undermine our democracy.

"Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and their allies in the Senate must be held accountable for their attacks on our democracy."

In the mounting backlash against them, seven Senate Democrats requested an ethics investigation in regard to the pairs' challenges to the Electoral College votes.

A letter addressed to the Senate Committee on Ethics said: "The Senate Ethics Committee should investigate their conduct to fully understand their role.

"The actions of which we know demand an investigation and a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted. Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body."

Hawley said the investigation request was a "flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process," in a statement shared with Newsweek.

He has attributed backlash against him to "cancel culture," as several Republicans have. Hawley also spoke out after a book deal he had was cancelled following the events of January 6, having since secured a new agreement.

Newsweek has contacted Cruz and Hawley's offices for comment. Schumer's office has also been contacted for comment.

josh hawley at presidential inauguration
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) arrives at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. He has faced a backlash following the events of January 6. Drew Angerer/Getty Images