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Area Members Of Congress React To Capitol Chaos

The U.S. Capitol
Ian Pickus

Extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify November’s election results for President-elect Joe Biden. The following are statements from members of Congress in WAMC's listening area.

Democratic New York U.S. Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

“We [Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] are calling on President Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Grounds immediately.”

Democratic New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“My staff and I are safe and currently in lockdown. The storming of the U.S. Capitol is a stain on American democracy. Make no mistake—this disgraceful violence will not stop the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20.”

Democratic Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey

“I and my staff are safe, sheltering in place, and the following the guidance and protocols of the Capitol Police. As soon as the Capitol is secure, Congress must cast our votes affirming the results of the Electoral College so that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in January 20. This is how we respond to this assault on our democracy. By reaffirming it. Democracy will prevail. Donald Trump is responsible for today’s coup at the Capitol and the attack on our government and democracy. He is a direct threat to our country. He needs to be impeached, removed from office, and barred from ever holding office again.” 

Democratic Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

“The violence at the Capitol today was an attempted coup and act of insurrection egged on by a corrupt President to overthrow our democracy. We cannot allow the actions of domestic terrorists to undermine the peaceful transition of power in our country. Americans picked a new president who wants to save lives, save our economy, and save our democracy. The certification of this election must resume immediately.”

Democratic U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy

“Safe with other Senators. We are eager to get back on Senate Floor when safe and resume the certification of the election. I applaud President-elect Biden’s remarks.”

Independent Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

“The man directly responsible for the chaos of today is Donald Trump, who has made it clear that he will do anything to remain in power – including insurrection and inciting violence. Trump will go down in history as the worst and most dangerous president in history.”

Democratic Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal

“My staff & I are safe at a secure location. I’m absolutely sickened by scenes of anarchist mobs violently swarming the Capitol. It’s not a protest – it’s armed insurrection. This is an assault on the heart of our democracy incited & fueled by the President of the U.S. & his enablers. Make no mistake: Congress will do its jobs. This election will be certified, & President-elect Biden & Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on January 20th.”

Democratic Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy

“I am ok. My staff is ok. This is an insurrection. And President Trump bears responsibility. It will not succeed. It will not stop us from doing the work of democracy. It will not stop the transfer of power. Those responsible will be held accountable.”

Peaceful protest is deeply patriotic. Insurrection is sedition, and those that are taking part today in the attempted takeover of the Capitol, including the destruction and desecration of our nation’s temple of democracy, will be held accountable. But make no mistake—these traitors will not stop the business of democracy. We will get back to the work of certifying the transfer of power as soon as possible, and we will find a way to find strength amidst this horror. I am in a secure location, as are the handful of my staff members who are on the Capitol grounds today. My thanks go out to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement and military personnel who are defending our nation at this moment. We will rise from this dark day as a nation. I am sure of it,” 

Congressman Richard Neal, Democrat from Massachusetts 1st District

“I am currently in the Capitol complex sheltering in place. We are following Capitol Police orders and are thankful that they are keeping us safe during this violence.”

Congressman Jim McGovern, Democrat from Massachusetts 2nd District

“I am safe in a secure location. When the situation is under control, we will resume proceedings on the House floor. America’s democracy will never be deterred. Not today. Not ever. Stop calling them rioters or protesters. They are domestic terrorists. Today our freedom, our democracy, and our country were attacked by domestic terrorists who were following Donald Trump’s orders. We’ll reconvene and certify the results soon. Those who participated in violence must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Republican from New York’s 21st District

“This is truly a tragic day for America. I fully condemn the dangerous violence and destruction that occurred today at the United States Capitol. Americans have a Constitutional right to protest and freedom of speech, but violence in any form is absolutely unacceptable and anti-American. The perpetrators of this un-American violence and destruction must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. My staff and I are safe. We pray that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, their staffs, and all Americans across the country remain safe. Thank you to the United States Capitol Police, all law enforcement, the National Guard, and the bipartisan professional staff of the United States Capitol for protecting the People's House and the American people.”

Congressman Paul Tonko, Democrat from New York’s 20th District

“My staff and I are safe. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. An incredibly sad day for our republic.”

Congressman Antonio Delgado, Democrat from New York’s 19th District

“My staff and I are safe. We are grateful for the brave Capitol Police officers who are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe. I’m praying for our country.”

Congressman Mondaire Jones, Democrat from New York’s 17th District

“What we’ve seen today is beyond the pale. Domestic terrorists descended upon the U.S. Capitol. This is a last gasp for Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators in Congress.”

Congressman Tom Reed, Republican from New York’s 23rd District

“Violence such as what we are seeing at the Capitol is absolutely unacceptable. We must de-escalate the situation immediately. We are Americans and do not do this. My heart breaks for our nation right now. Our country and its beautiful democracy is better than this. Our Constitution calls for the civil transition of power and though we may not agree with the election results, we must agree to always act with honor and civility towards all. We believe in the right to peacefully protest, but we must emphatically reject these horrible instances of physical attacks on our governing institutions and let democracy proceed.”

Click here to hear from Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, a Democrat at-large, who spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon. 

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org