Both political parties should proceed cautiously with determining how to hold those responsible for last week’s violence at the United States Capitol.

House Democrats are reported to be returning to Washington today to consider a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to constitutionally remove President Trump from office. Should that effort fail, House members are ready to proceed with plans to impeach Trump on charges of incitement of insurrection. Both of those actions are unprecedented in U.S. history.

Never before has a U.S. president been impeached twice, nor has the Fourth Article of the 25th Amendment been used to remove a sitting American president. While we firmly believe that those responsible for last week’s violence should be punished, the actions that Congress are considering should not be made lightly. Moreover, we see a huge difference between those who attended President Trump’s rally, a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and those who committed criminal acts attacking the seat of government.

Although the House may vote this week to impeach Trump, the single article of impeachment may not be delivered to the U.S. Senate for several weeks, or months, allowing the new Biden administration time to get up and running. Emotions are running high right now on both sides of the aisle and among Americans. Decisions made now will reverberate down through history and should not be made in the heat and anger of the moment. These types of decisions should be made after careful deliberation and with an eye toward future implications. The future of our republic is at stake and how we handle the situation now will set a precedent for future Congresses and future presidential administrations. All need to realize, making purely partisan moves now will have repercussions later.

Now is not the time to rule with our emotions, but rather with clear heads about the future implications of those actions. In fact, it would be wise if the leadership of both parties decided together what steps should be taken. We said last week they shouldn’t fan the flames, but much of what we’ve seen since has done exactly that.

Unifying the country should be the primary goal of whatever action Congress decides to take. We hope that our local delegation, including Fourth District Rep. Tom Cole and Third District Rep. Frank Lucas, will take a leading role in the U.S. House in developing and instituting unifying measures.

Several companies, including Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Dow and AT&T are businesses which announced Monday that they are cutting off donations to Republican politicians who opposed the certification of Biden as president last week. In addition, JP Morgan, Citibank, and Microsoft have announced they will temporarily pause all political donations to both parties.

The political action committee of Hallmark Cards, which is headquartered in Kansas City, is asking Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to return its donations following the Capitol attack.

In the end, those companies and their actions — as well as consumers demonstrating whether they support those actions — will be the truest measuring stick of how voters feel.

Ultimately, the American voters will be the ones to decide the fate of those in Congress who and their actions in support or opposition of the certification of Biden and Harris.

Recommended for you