Senator Ram speaks out following positive COVID-19 tests of fellow legislators
12:46 p.m. -- Tuesday, Jan. 12
Sen. Kesha Ram, D -- Chittenden, sent out the following statement Tuesday after learning that fellow legislators, who were at the Capitol Jan. 6, had tested positive for COVID-19.
"My heart goes out to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Congressman Brad Schneider as they tested positive for COVID-19 in the aftermath of the Capitol attack, as well as to other Capitol staff who have been infected due to the malice and recklessness of some of the Congressional Republicans and the rioters they helped incite," said Ram.
Legislature takes up measure condemning Wednesday attacks, legislators from both parties among sponsors
Hinted at throughout the day, the Vermont House of Representatives took up legislation Thursday declaring the rioting at the U.S. Capitol building “an attack on democracy” and calling for President Donald Trump’s removal.
Among the bill’s sponsors were leaders from both major parties in the House of Representatives.
As of Thursday evening, the House had passed J.R.H. 1.
Gov. Phil Scott address joint session of legislature, calls for compromise
Gov. Phil Scott addressed a virtual joint session of the Vermont legislature Thursday afternoon, calling for legislators to work together to lay the foundation for the state's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic struggles that came with it.
"Vermonters turned out in record numbers this election. And they delivered what I believe is a clear mandate for practical clear leadership," Scott said.
Scott noted that for the first time in the stat's history, the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house and senate majority leader are women. The governor struck a tone of compromise, acknowledging that legislators will have issues they disagree about, but calling on them to work together for the benefit of the state.
“I believe with thoughtful and honest leadership there’s nothing we can’t accomplish by working together," Scott said.
Scott also touched on Wednesday's protest in the nation's capital.
"These actions were not patriotic and these people are not patriots,"
Vermont’s three Electoral College votes pushed President-Elect Joe Biden over the 270-vote benchmark during Wednesday evening’s certification.
According to Vermont’s Secretary of State and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D – Vt., it was Vermont’s three electoral votes officially pressing Biden past the 270 mark during yesterday evening’s certifying.
The certification process is a procedural, final step in the presidential election where the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate certify the Electoral College’s election of the President and Vice President.
The event, generally held with little fanfare, stretched into Thursday morning amid Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol and challenges by several Republican senators and representatives that ultimately had no impact on the results of the presidential election.
According to a tweet from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, Vermont’s three votes were certified at 3:33 a.m. Thursday morning and officially moved Biden’s tally above the 270 votes needed to win in the Electoral College.
By the end of the morning, Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the Electoral College – 306 – 232 – was formally certified by the U.S. Congress.
“After a long and difficult day, I take pride in noting that Vermont’s electoral votes just now placed Biden/Harris OVER the needed 270 votes,” Leahy tweeted Thursday morning. “In two weeks, Joe Biden will be President and Kamala Harris will be Vice President.”
Local legislators condemn D.C. riot, House to consider symbolic bill supporting Trump's removal
Rep. Mike McCarthy, a Democrat representing St. Albans City and parts of St. Albans Town, said in a statement the Vermont House of Representatives would be taking up legislation supporting Trump’s resignation or removal and had received the backing of Democratic leadership in the House.
“It is unacceptable for any elected official to incite a mob to violence,” McCarthy said. “People of all political stripes hold the peaceful transition of power and respect for free and fair elections as sacred values in our democracy.”
Vermont AG T.J. Donovan calls for investigation
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan on Thursday called for an investigation into Wednesday's riot in the nation's capitol, and suggested President Donald Trump be prosecuted for what happened.
In a letter to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, Donovan said he was “shocked, saddened, disgusted, and angry about the assault on our United States Capitol and our democracy,” calling the events a “brazen criminal insurrection.”
Donovan called on the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation and prosecute anyone, including Trump, for inciting and carrying out the riot.
“DOJ’s immediate action is required to protect our democracy, defend the rule of law, and hold accountable those who attempted to overturn the will of the American people.
For the full statement, click here.