ArkLaTex lawmakers respond to protest at U.S. Capitol

ArkLaTex lawmakers respond to protest at U.S. Capitol
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Source: Julio Cortez)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Many ArkLaTex area lawmakers are responding to the protests at the U.S. Capitol that are ongoing Wednesday, Jan. 6 as lawmakers there were in the process of confirming the Electoral College vote for the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump tweeted a video message just after 3:15 p.m. Twitter later removed the video.

Governor John Bel Edwards spoke Wednesday to update Louisiana residents on COVID-19 efforts and said the following about the situation in Washington, D.C.:

“It is sad and tragic what is happening in Washington right now.”

ArkLaTex lawmakers, leaders react to rioters storming U.S. Capitol

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Katie Bernhardt issued the following statement:

“We are witnessing a seditious riot at the U.S. Capitol building intent on disrupting the peaceful transition of power that has characterized our democracy since its founding. This embarrassing display betrays the principles that brave Americans have sacrificed their lives to defend. Sadly, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and Representatives Steve Scalise and Mike Johnson enabled this un-American act. We will survive this infamous chapter in our history because – as we demonstrated in November, and again last night in Georgia – Americans live by hope, not fear.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy tweeted the following after lawmakers were evacuated from the capitol.

Sen. John Kennedy has also released a statement:

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was despicable and shameful. The rioters responsible should go to jail and pay for the destruction they caused. No exceptions. I condemned rioters and mob violence last summer in our cities, and I condemn them now. I’m proud that Congress was not cowed. We returned to the Senate floor late last night and finished our work early this morning.

Most Louisianians get up every day, go to work, obey the law, pay their taxes and try to do right by their kids. They would never join a mob. They care about election integrity, and many are concerned about irregularities surrounding the Nov. 3 election. I came to the Capitol yesterday to give them a voice. I joined several Senate colleagues in calling for a bipartisan commission to inspect election issues raised across the country. Our proposal was not successful, but our goal to ensure full confidence and transparency in our elections—for all Americans—is a noble one, and I’ll keep pursuing it.

I want to thank the Capitol Police, the National Guard and all the law enforcement officers who bravely kept us safe. They are heroes.

God bless America.”

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise tweeted the following:

Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted the following:

Sen. Ted Cruz also responded:

And Sen. John Boozman also weighed in:

Congressman Mike Johnson posted on Facebook, saying, “I unambiguously condemn in the strongest possible terms any and all forms of violent protest. Any individual who committed violence today should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is beyond time to remember that while we may disagree, we are all Americans, and there is far more that unites us than divides us. I extend my deepest thanks to the United States Capitol Police for protecting the Capitol complex today and all days.”

Congressman Bruce Westerman released the following statement Thursday, Jan. 7 after President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes were certified by Congress:

“While members of Congress were peaceably and constitutionally debating the electoral votes yesterday, rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in death, destruction and a national disgrace. This is unacceptable, and I condemn these actions in the strongest terms.

The Constitution explicitly outlines that federal elections are state legislatures’ responsibility, giving Congress a final check with a provision to object to electors. I’ve said all along that we should let our court system work, and I supported a variety of legal challenges to investigate election fraud allegations. However, I did not object to the final count of electors. Last night’s failed votes in Congress did nothing to change the outcome of the Nov. 3 election, nor could they have changed it had they passed. As much as we may not like the results of an election, resorting to mob rule is wholly un-American. We can – we must – be better than this.

Through some of our country’s darkest days, we’ve maintained a peaceful transition of power. This year should be no different. We cannot flirt with undoing the very foundation of our Constitution and pretend that it will all work out in the end.

My oath was not to defend a party or a person, it was to defend the Constitution of the United States. I will never stop fighting for the Constitution and conservative ideals in Congress, and I know many of you feel as though your voice isn’t being heard. It is, but changes must be done through the appropriate channels. Now, more than ever, we need to demonstrate strong leadership and work to restore trust in our election process through independent audits, oversight and more.

This much is clear: what happened yesterday on many different levels must never happen again.”

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