Newly-elected Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., chastised her colleagues on both sides of the aisle Wednesday for contributing to violence with their rhetoric, as they debated the potential impeachment of President Trump.
Mace delivered her first-ever remarks on the House floor during an impassioned debate that had been designated for a discussion of rules prior to a vote on whether to impeach Trump following the riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Mace blamed the president for what happened, but she also blamed members of Congress for contributing to the violence that plagued American cities throughout 2020.
"I believe we need to hold the president accountable," Mace said. "I hold him accountable for the events that transpired, for the attack on our Capitol last Wednesday. I also believe that we need to hold accountable every single person, even members of Congress if they contributed to the violence that transpired here."
Mace then called on House members of both parties to be accountable for their own words and actions and to help bring the country back together.
"Today I'm asking my colleagues to remember the words of the legendary, the great leader in this country Dr. Martin Luther King, who once said, 'The time is always right to do what is right.' And if we're serious about healing the divisions in this country, Republicans and Democrats need to acknowledge this is not the first day of violence we've seen," Mace said. "We've seen violence across our country for the last nine months."
Much of 2020 saw violent unrest all over the U.S. after the death of George Floyd. Cities, including New York, Chicago and Minneapolis, saw rampant looting, Seattle was the site of protesters taking over a police station and declaring an autonomous zone, and destruction in Portland continued into the new year.
"And we need to recognize, number one, that our words have consequences; that there is violence on both sides of the aisle," Mace continued. "We've contributed to it. We need to take responsibility for our words and our actions, we need to acknowledge there's a problem, take responsibility for it, and stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution."
Earlier in her address, Mace had said she holds President Trump accountable for the riot at the Capitol, but opposed the process – or lack thereof – that has marked the current impeachment effort.
"The U.S. House of Representatives has every right to impeach the president of the United States," she said. "But what we're doing today, rushing this impeachment in an hour- or two-hour-long debate on the floor of this chamber, bypassing judiciary, poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process."