Indiana's Congressional Delegation Responds To Insurrection, Defends Elector Approval Votes

Jan 8, 2021

Voting was delayed at the U.S. Capitol for several hours while the building was cleared. (Courtesy of Garret VanHoy)

Rep. Greg Pence (IN-06), the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, issued a pair of statements contextualizing Wednesday's insurrection by pro-Trump extremists at the United States Capitol.

Rep. Pence first issued a statement condemning the violence calling it “a tragic day for all of America.” Through his press secretary, he continued, “Violence and anarchy is wrong, and the madness at the Capitol must stop.”

Pence and the VP remained in the Capitol complex while it was occupied by the mob.

READ MORE: HOOSIER POLITICIANS REACT TO PROTESTS AT US CAPITOL

Hours after the insurrection, Pence and his Congressional colleagues returned to the business of approving electors from each state.

 

Pence voted to approve electors from Arizona but rejected Pennsylvania’s. He also defended the votes in a statement.

“There are millions of American voters in our nation who currently feel disenfranchised, but violence and anarchy is never the answer. The way forward for our nation is to follow the U.S. Constitution,” it read. “My votes reflect both my support of the Constitution and the disenfranchised voters of the 6th District who feel this election process was intentionally altered for political reasons.”

Representatives Jim Baird (IN-03), Jim Banks (IN-04) and Jackie Walorski (IN-02) — all congressional Republicans — objected to accepting electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Walorski defended her actions, claiming her vote aimed "to restore the American people's confidence in our election system," per a statement from her press secretary.

Walorski's statement continued, "Because Congress was unable to reach a bipartisan agreement to take such a commonsense step, I voted to formally object to certain electors from contested states in order to shine a light on those concerns."

In a lengthy Facebook post, Baird defended his votes after blaming the Supreme Court for not ruling even though the court has rejected multiple cases attempting to overturn state election results brought by the Trump campaign.

Neither Walorski, Pence nor any Republicans objecting to the result have identified specific examples of widespread voter fraud that would question the validity of any state’s electors.

All voting to refuse electors were either unavailable or did not respond to requests for interviews.

The rest of Indiana’s congressional delegation voted to accept all electors, including newly elected GOP Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (IN-05).

Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08) was more direct than most Hoosier Republicans in his critique of President Donald Trump.

He charactized the events as "an attempt to force the Congress to overturn an election for which the rioters did not like the result. An insurrection against the Federal Government. Unfortunately, earlier in the day President Trump, in a speech on the National Mall, incited the crowd to do just that."

Bucshon voiced his support for the president's agenda, but dispelled other unverified claims many of his peers continued to tout. "However, in over two months since the election, the President’s legal team has not succeeded in proving to the courts that action must be taken in this election. Election law reform must be undertaken at the state level," he wrote.

READ MORE: IN STARK REVERSAL, BRAUN VOTES TO APPROVE ARIZONA ELECTORS AFTER INSURRECTION

Indiana’s Republican U.S. senators, Mike Braun and Todd Young, approved electors.

For Braun, it was a stark shift. Nine hours earlier, Indiana’s junior senator had said he would refuse to approve electors from Arizona.

Late Wednesday night, Braun posted a statement to Twitter, writing, "Today’s events changed things drastically. Though I will continue to push for a thorough investigation into the election irregularities many Hoosiers are concerned with as my objection was intended, I have withdrawn that objection and will vote to get this ugly day behind us."

Numerous attempts to contact the senator were unreturned.

Young spoke out against the insurrection on Twitter.

“In America we have a right to peacefully protest,” he wrote. “But what has occurred today goes against everything we stand for as a nation. This is not a peaceful protest – it is violence and it is reprehensible. This must stop.”

 

As expected, Young voted to approve electors from all states. 

In a standoff with protestors Wednesday morning captured on video by a Washington Post reporter — before the insurrection — Young passionately defended his vote.

“Our opinions don’t matter,” Young said in part. “The law matters.”

Emma Atkinson and the Associated Press contributed reporting.