RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — In a highly polarized move, Virginia House Republicans voted unanimously against a proposal put forth by House Democrats aimed at banning individuals convicted of participating in an insurrection from holding any position of public trust in the state.
The vote was conducted along party lines, with Republicans opposing the budget amendment.
The proposal was based on legislation (HB 1562) introduced by Delegate Dan Helmer, a West Point graduate and veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
RELATED: Delegate files bill to bar January 6 insurrectionists from public office in Virginia
"Today's vote shows that the Virginia House Republicans are more concerned with empowering MAGA election deniers who attacked our Democracy than protecting the ability of every Virginian to ensure their voice is heard in elections. We won't stop until these Jan 6 insurrections are permanently barred from teaching our children, enforcing our laws, or administering our elections," said Del. Dan Helmer.
Despite gaining support from the public and lawmakers, the bill was killed last week after House Republicans refused to give it a hearing, effectively preventing any public vote on the legislation.
RELATED: Lawmakers seek to bar insurrectionists from holding office
"January 6th was an attack on the very foundations of our democracy. Individuals who engaged in insurrection should not be permitted to hold positions of public trust in the government that they tried to overthrow," said Debra Perlin, Policy Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "Delegate Helmer’s legislation barring insurrectionists from positions of public trust is a necessary step towards protecting our democracy."
The vote has sparked controversy and criticism from those who believe that individuals convicted of such crimes should not hold positions of power and influence in the public sector.
The text of the amendment can be viewed here.