A local Congressman reflected on Thursday about the Capitol Riots that occurred on January 6th. 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis says that the incident that occurred during the tally of the Electoral College votes reminded him of the Alexandria, Virginia shooting that took place in June of 2017 during a charity congressional baseball game. Then-House GOP whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was wounded in that shooting.
Davis says its the second time in his tenure as a Congressman he has personally paid witness to violence against America’s elected officials: “It’s a moment that will always stand out in American history. It’s a moment that Americans attacked our own Capitol, and it’s wrong. What we saw there was obviously misinformation. Going out and inspiring individuals that somehow Congress in a Democrat House was going to change the Electoral College results and change the outcome of the election – it was not ever going to happen. People became so enraged by that misinformation and the lies that they heard that they decided to create an almost-armed conflict, because there were firearms discovered that the rioters possessed – they stormed the Capitol. They broke the law. It’s wrong. Riots are riots. We need to continue as Republicans to be the party of personal responsibility, and anyone who breaks the law needs to be held accountable, just like those individuals who knowingly broke the law by stepping into the Capitol.”
Davis says that things were okay once they were able to take shelter away from the rioters: “It was a personally trying day. However, it worked out great after we were evacuated. I was able to get to safety along with many of my colleagues and help some of my colleagues to safety. It was now the second time in less than 4 years that my life and the life of others have been saved by brave Capitol police officers.”
Davis says he has taken exception with new Capitol Grounds security measures recently put in place. Earlier last week, metal detectors were put in place to enter the House Chamber. Davis says his job as the lead Republican on the House Administration Committee are taking steps for better security measures around the perimeter of the Capitol. Davis says the metal detectors have nothing to do with potential threats and are political theatre by House Democrats: “There was an epic failure and a lack of intelligence sharing as to what could have happened and what did happen [on January 6th], and what the posture was of our Capitol police. I’m never going to put them at a disadvantage again. They need all of their resources along the outer perimeter of the Capitol where the known, credible, intelligence threats are. Instead, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi decided to put metal detectors up around the House Chamber, and take valuable police resources away from where the credible threats are and waste them for political theatre, but that’s typical.”
Freshman Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert had a standoff with Capitol Police on Tuesday at the metal detectors for refusing to allow them to search her bag. Boebert has bragged about her desire to carry a weapon at the Capitol. Weapons are banned from the floor of Congress. Despite that fact, fellow Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger told the Associated Press he was armed during the riot on January 6th. Davis got into shouting match on the floor of Congress on Tuesday with Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, where he accused the majority party for installing the detectors without consultation. Davis called the new installation of metal detectors as well as the new security measures “B.S.” in the argument.
House Republicans also cited Article 1 Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution that says that members of Congress in the exception of Treason, theft, or disturbing the peace cannot be arrested while they are at work, or on their way to work, in Congress. At the end of the article it says that members of Congress, “shall not be questioned in any other place” on their way to a speech or a debate in any chamber.
Democratic lawmakers say the extra measures will keep weapons from being brought to the floor of Congress and provide a safe and secure environment in which to conduct legislative business.