Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell delivered these remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor:
“The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty.
This mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.
But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation. Not even for one night.
We certified the people’s clear choice for their 46th president.
Tomorrow, President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris will be sworn in. We will have a safe and successful inauguration right here on the west front of the Capitol — the space that President Bush 41 called ‘democracy’s front porch.’
And then we’ll move forward. Our work for the American people will continue, as it has for more than 230 years.
There are serious challenges that our nation needs to continue confronting. But there will also be great and hopeful opportunities for us to seize.
Certainly November’s elections did not hand any side a mandate for sweeping ideological change. Americans elected a closely-divided Senate, a closely-divided House, and a presidential candidate who said he’d represent everyone.
So our marching orders from the American people are clear. We are to have robust discussions and seek common ground.
We are to pursue bipartisan agreement everywhere we can … and check and balance one another respectfully where we must.
And through all of this, we must always keep in mind that we are all Americans. We all love this country. And we are all in this together.
A great deal has already been said about the disgraceful events of January 6th. More will be said in the weeks ahead.
I understand the FBI has already made at least 100 arrests, and the Justice Department reports more than 275 persons under investigation, a number that is climbing fast. I commend the work of the Department to swiftly investigate and bring offenders to justice.
As I have stated, January 6th saw failures of institutions, protocols, and planning.
Those failures did not just leave Congress itself exposed; they also left the courageous men and women of the Capitol Police themselves in a totally untenable situation.
Today I want to reaffirm the huge respect and gratitude that I have — and I believe all Senators have — for the men and women of the USCP who put their own safety on the line every single day that they clock in and stand guard.
Neither the institution of Congress nor the American people will ever forget the bravery and the valor of Officer Brian Sicknick, who sacrificed himself to protect this place and those inside it.
We will not forget our friend Officer Howard Liebengood.
And we will never forget our debt to all the brave USCP officers and their families.
It is more than just comforting to come to work in a place protected by such fine men and women, at risk to themselves; it is also very humbling.
We’re also grateful to the local officers from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. The federal law enforcement officers. The National Guard. The Secret Service.
And all the other professionals who helped subdue the criminals and secure the Capitol on the 6th, and are working together to protect peace and order this week.
. . . a new President and Vice President will swear their oaths of office. And they will do so safely and securely because so many brave men and women have sworn their own oaths to support and defend our Constitution.
We salute you all.”
Remarks collated by Judy Clabes. Cross-posted from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.