Jan. 6, in their own words: Members of Congress look back and forward

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Throughout that impeachment trial, after we noticed all of it knit collectively — in phrases of the maps and the movies and the footage and noticed the entire thing going down directly — it was surprising.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

It was already a tough day for me. It was the one-year anniversary of my brother’s passing [former Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)]. My complete household was gathered at my dad and mom’ home. I wasn’t there. They usually’re texting me, as I am sitting on the ground watching the proceedings happen, saying, ‘Are you OK?’ I’m pondering, ‘They’re asking me, am I OK for the one-year mark.’ I did not notice they have been watching tv, watching the Capitol get stormed. No concept.

That was the case for lots of us. We have been getting pinged earlier than we had any clue.

Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.)

Rep. Ann Kuster was one of 4 lawmakers lower than 50 ft from a gaggle of rioters as they have been evacuated from the Home gallery: The total story has not come out on the Home aspect. On the Senate aspect, we noticed the video of Mitt Romney. … That for me is a component of the story that I must convey, as a result of I used to be a component of that. Each second counted.


The entrance of the mob was coming towards us in that hallway. You could possibly hear them. I did not see them as a result of I used to be fussing [with my gas mask].

A bunch of them had come up that staircase and come down that hallway. … That eight-and-a-half minutes, with all my colleagues nonetheless caught contained in the chamber, pinned down, calling their households to say goodbye.

I am attempting to convey how shut this got here in the Home.

… on attempting to remain secure, bodily and emotionally, one 12 months later

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

I do not go anyplace in Connecticut with out police safety once I’m doing my official duties. That was not the case previous to Jan. 6. The extent of harassment directed at my household is extra vital than it was. The job is completely different now. These persons are not effectively, and they arrive after us in a really, very completely different, very private approach.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ailing.)

Rep. Rodney Davis was there when a gunman attacked a GOP Congressional Baseball Recreation follow in 2017: I’ve seen the vitriol earlier than. I imply, I needed to run from bullets on a baseball area with my pals a pair of years in the past.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.)

We have to determine a strategy to do safety in the folks’s Home. … I would like everyone who’s right here to be secure. However I do not wish to use your security as an excuse to not get this place back to the place folks can come see it. And there is a strategy to do each.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

I at all times felt secure going into the Capitol. The one occasions I’ve not felt secure have been on 9/11 and on Jan. 6. I really feel secure going now, however I’ll at all times have that tiny little query mark in my thoughts.

Kuster, who’s helped develop a help group for the handfuls of Democrats who have been in the gallery that day: We’ve got this textual content chain. And typically the textual content is, ‘Who’s bringing the wine?’ or teasing [Rep.] Jason Crow (D-Colo.) about bringing pie. After which typically it is, ‘I am actually having a tough time.’ ‘This is a ebook about trauma that may allow you to.’

It is an extremely highly effective help system. I might say that at this level, we love one another. We look after one another. And it is not a lot that the story is about us. The story is about this place that we love that’s so essential to our nation and to our future.

… on how the riot has affected relationships between the events

Tester: I feel it will be very easy to say ‘I’m by no means working with these guys once more.’ However in the end, in the tip, I’m right here to get issues finished and I’m right here to attempt to transfer the ball forward.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Particularly in the Home, there appears to be extra proof of [Jan. 6 affecting relationships].

Kuster: Nicely, [on Jan. 7], I used to be getting a Covid vaccine. The scene was surreal. It is like out of a film. I used to be sitting in these seats with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and two southern Republican males.


And the 2 of them are sitting there, Thursday morning, bragging about what number of busloads of supporters they’d dropped at Washington, like that they’d paid for, presumably. Perhaps their marketing campaign funds. They usually’re actually bragging about that, sitting proper subsequent to me.

Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ailing.)

I can’t vote for a invoice that involves the ground that is sponsored by individuals who voted to overturn the election outcomes, except they’ve acknowledged the error of their methods. Which up to now consists of [Rep.] Tom Rice (R-S.C.), and that is it. I would not go as far as to say not work with folks, as a result of good concepts come from all corners.

Davis, one of Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy’s authentic picks for the Home Choose Committee on Jan. 6: No one’s failing to work with the Democrat committee chairmen who voted to not certify George W. Bush’s election in 2004. I do not see a push to not work with [Rep.] Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) as a result of he was debating whether or not or to not certify outcomes that got here in for President Trump on the Home flooring in 2017.

Armstrong, one other of McCarthy’s authentic picks for the Jan. 6 panel: I feel amongst the rank-and-file, it has thawed some. I feel from ideological ends, it hasn’t.

Fitzpatrick, who co-chairs the bipartisan Drawback Solvers Caucus: If we implode on one another, if we begin to erode our establishments, lose religion in our establishments, that would be the finish of democracy. And I do not assume folks notice how fragile democracy is, how younger it’s, and how vulnerable it’s to that.

So any time I see my colleagues assault one another on the Home flooring, I do not care which celebration they’re from, I’ll inform them you make your adversaries very joyful proper now. Thoughts the burden of your phrases as a result of they’ve penalties.

… on how they see the violence now

Murray: We bodily needed to go back into that Capitol that very same night time [to finish certifying the election]. And I believed that was a vital second that stated that we weren’t going to permit this to occur. … I feel what I’m involved about is the fragility of that second. Everyone stood collectively — or just about everyone aside from a number of stood collectively — at that second. I hope none of us ever overlook that.

Casten: I am not offended anymore. I am simply attempting to determine what do you do when you have got been entrusted with accountability as a member of the USA Congress — and a major faction of your colleagues stood down when any individual tried to kill you.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

I give it some thought continuously. To me, it is a day like 9/11. That is a day like when John Kennedy was assassinated. You are too younger to know that date, however that date is in my thoughts. Each of these occasions had a long-lasting affect on me. Jan. 6 has had a long-lasting affect on me.

Murkowski: I used to be scared. After which I obtained actually offended. And now it is virtually extra of a way of disappointment in acknowledging that, for some, they’ve chosen to both transfer the occasions to the back of their thoughts — simply overlook about them — or have variety of re-imagined the info that we reside by.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)

Rep. Cheney, vice chair of the Home Choose Committee on Jan. 6: Whether or not or not we inform the reality about it, and whether or not or not we maintain folks accountable, and be certain that it by no means occurs once more — it truly is the ethical query of our time.

… on transferring forward

Armstrong: I attempted to not do it earlier than, however I’ve made a aware effort to battle about concepts and not ship the snarky tweet that you just assume is gonna get a bunch of clicks — and you assume you are joyful — and you then look back at it 48 hours later, and you are like, ‘Actually, is that basically value it?’ … While you exaggerate one thing, you lose the component of the argument. And either side try this. I want we’d do it much less.

Tester: After the sixth, I feel it confirmed the establishments are strong and they’re holding up. … When the establishments can’t be screwed up by anybody individual or group of folks, that’s a really optimistic factor.

Thune: As we look to the long run, the extra that we get on the market and speak about concepts, rules, and establish and relate to folks the place they’re at … the higher probability we’ll have of being an electable governing majority for the long run. And the extra we dwell on what occurred in the previous, persons are going to discover a ceiling.

Casten: It is, in some ways, redoubled my dedication to public service. As a result of I discover myself incessantly occupied with that line of Lincoln’s, that ‘there was at all times simply sufficient advantage in this nation to put it aside; typically none to spare, however at all times simply sufficient.’

Murkowski: I had a call to make on whether or not or to not run once more. And for a bunch of completely different causes … the better factor to do would have been to say that I can’t run. However I selected the more durable path, I feel. And I did so as a result of I feel this place is value saving.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

We do not choose the occasions that we reside in. They’re right here. We every individually decide about how we’ll reside in these occasions.

Pictures: Related Press

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