U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol Building

Multiple lawmakers representing Southwest Washington responded Wednesday afternoon to news that supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building during a joint meeting of the Senate and House to count Electoral College votes. 

One woman who was shot at the event died, according to multiple national news outlets. 

Members of Congress were evacuated shortly after mobs of Trump supporters entered the building, though the joint session was expected to reconvene that night. 

Gov. Jay Inslee provided the following statement on Twitter: 

“The siege of the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. It was fueled, precipitated and induced by the unrelenting and totally discredited lies of Donald Trump and his lackeys in Congress.

“The members of Washington’s congressional delegation, their staff and all who serve in the Capitol should never fear for their safety in carrying out the people’s work. But know this — democracy will not be denied. The ship of state will sail on. Our nation will persevere and a new president will take office.

“And it is our fondest hope that those who have enabled Donald Trump will be touched by the better angels of their nature, and find the courage to stand up for our most precious gift of democracy and the institutions that have preserved it for centuries.” 

Conservative demonstrators at a similar event in Olympia, at the Washington State Capitol, breached the gate at the Governor’s Mansion and were able to get to the governor’s doorstep. Washington State Patrol had a press conference schedule shortly after they issued a dispersal order. 

Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the Washington Republican Party, also wrote on Twitter: 

“This is unfathomable. I never thought I would see something like this in the greatest country in the history of the world. Violence, intimidation, and disruption of the business of the People’s House is unacceptable, and it flies in the face of our nation’s foundational values.”

J.T. Wilcox, the House minority leader in Washington’s Legislature and 2nd Legislative District representative, R-Yelm, wrote: 

“Political violence must end or our great country will end. We treasure freedom of speech and the best service we can render our country now is to be an example of effective discourse that rejects violence. We can't let toleration of violence be part of our politics. Cast it out.”

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, WA-03, in a lengthy statement, voiced opposition to the mob that broke into the building. Her full statement can be found at this link: https://twitter.com/HerreraBeutler/status/1346946330204233729?s=20

“The reports you are hearing about the chaos, panic and dangerous actions by protestors are not exaggerations. I witnessed them. Is this the America we want to give to our children? A country of lawlessness and mob rule? Previous generations of American have laid down their lives to answer ‘no’ to that question. Do we want to be the first generation selfishly enough to say ‘yes’? If we do, then what makes us a better nation that Iran or Russia?” 

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, WA-10, the freshman lawmaker serving only her first week into the 117th Congress, wrote the following shortly after Trump supporters broke into the building: 

“The Capitol has been breached. Both chambers have been evacuated. This is not peaceful protest, this is domestic terrorism. This violence is a direct result of Trump undermining our democratic process simply because he didn’t like the results. Shameful and completely reckless.” 

Washington Sen. Patty Murray wrote the following on Twitter: 

“In response to questions about my safety: I'm safe and so is my staff, but I condemn in the strongest terms the hate-fueled violence we are seeing in our nation's Capitol today, as should every leader committed to the peaceful transfer of power in our country.” 

She added later at 6 p.m. Eastern Time: “This violent mob & the President who stoked their rage must be held accountable. They should not be allowed to delay our democratic processes for a minute longer. We have a Constitutional duty to certify the election. We should resume that work right now and finish tonight.”


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(1) comment


It is 10 days until the inauguration of our next president. On this day 5 individuals have lost their lives (one a Capitol Hill policeman beaten with a fire extinguisher) and the White House flag still does not fly at half-mast.

As I have reflected on my own experiences in our nations capitol it has included being a trip chaperone for our school's 8th grade student council from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Washington D.C. It was a trip where we were all impressed while we experienced a certain sense of awe as we toured our nations capitol building, monuments, museums and other symbols of our democracy.

I also remember running the Marine Corps Marathon twice and recall running past the monuments after starting at the Iwo Jima Memorial, being handed water by our nations' members of the Marine Corps, inspired by local HS bands, and (having trained in Pittsburgh, PA.) not really being impressed by the "Capitol Hill" but was in awe of our Capitol building, and finishing back at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

My last visit to our nations capitol occurred when I was honored to have been selected as one of two teachers representing the State of Alaska in the NASA Teacher in Space Project. Part of my experience that week included a short speech to our group of educators by President Reagan in the White House. I met Christa McAuliffe briefly, Astronaut-Congressman Harrison Schmitt and later was at the launch of the Challenger.

My next visit to DC will be tarnished by the actions of a mob who chanted "This Is Our House" and proceeded to break windows, walk in with a confederate flag, destroy furniture, attack the Capitol police, defecate on the floor, and terrorize our elected officials. My experience will never be the same and I am sad for our nation.

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