RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite expectations of an impending vote, the Virginia Senate did not weigh in on the resolution to censure state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) on Tuesday. After a debate over a substitute claiming Chase failed to uphold her oath of office and engaged in “conduct unbecoming of a senator,” a Democratic colleague defended Chase’s request for additional time and two of the most outspoken critics of the senator obliged following a tearful revelation.
Sen. John Bell (D-Loudoun), with the support of several other Senate Democrats, filed a resolution to censure Chase claiming she instigated “insurrection against the United States” during a speech she gave at the “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“I think it’s completely ridiculous,” Chase said in an interview after the bill was filed. “I think it’s political because I’m running for governor. Let’s make no mistake about that.”
“The inflammatory statements and actions of Senator Amanda F. Chase during her tenure in the Senate of Virginia have created and aggravated tensions, misled constituents and citizens, and obstructed the Senate’s business in service of the Commonwealth, and such behavior constitutes a failure to uphold her oath of office, misuse of office, and conduct unbecoming of a Senator and, collectively, has caused a material effect upon the conduct of her office,” the substitute reads.
The censure resolution seeks to place Chase “last in seniority for failure to uphold her office, misuse of office, and conduct unbecoming of a Senator.”
The caucus asserted that the Republican gubernatorial contender helped empower “a failed coup d’état” at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and called on her to resign from office before any resolution was submitted. After deciding not to leave office, the chamber voted 37-1 to strip Chase of her last committee assignment.
On Tuesday, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) ruled that the substitute from Sen. Bell was germane with the original resolution after both Bell and Chase gave their arguments. Bell made brief remarks, taking just a few moments of the five minutes allotted. Chase contended that the substitute was “completely different” and that Sen. Bell should have to file another bill.
“He [Bell] realized how absurd his comments are and has tried to come up with another reason to embarrass me,” Chase said on the Senate floor.
A motion to approve the substitute was quickly agreed upon following Fairfax’s decision and a vote appeared near. Just as Sen. Bell began to call for a formal floor vote, Chase asked that the bill go by for the day.
Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) spoke in defense of Chase’s request, telling other senators that they should provide her with more time. Bell and Sen. Tommy Norment (R-James City) objected to the idea of delaying a vote, arguing that Sen. Chase did not testify during a committee meeting last week in her defense.
Before any motion could be made, Chase disclosed that her mother-in-law had just had open-heart surgery as she began to cry. After her remarks, Bell and Norment both withdrew their objections and the bill went by for the day.
Read the full substitute resolution here.