Alabama’s congressional delegation reacts to storming of US Capitol

Alabama’s congressional delegation reacts to storming of US Capitol
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama’s only Democratic member of Congress, confirmed the House Chamber had been locked and said she was praying no one is injured in the “chaos.” (Source: Twitter)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSFA) - The members of Alabama’s congressional delegation, as well as others, reacted on social media after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by protestors, prompting the lockdown and evacuation of many legislators.

Congress suspended debate on acceptance of Electoral College votes after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the building Wednesday afternoon, sending both legislative chambers scrambling to lock their doors. The riot turned deadly when a woman was shot inside the Capitol, according to law enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville was one of just six Senators who voted Wednesday night to sustain the objections to Arizona’s electoral votes. Tuberville didn’t react on social media to Wednesday’s events until Thursday morning. He called Wednesday a “sad day for our great country” and condemned the violence.

Tuberville also reiterated he has “serious concerns” about how the elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania were conducted.

“Because I promised to raise these concerns on behalf of my constituents, I voted against seating the electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania,” he tweeted.

He went on to say that the certification of the elections results should be completed.

On Wednesday, other members of Congress from Alabama reacted to the violence at the Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks tweeted that tear gas had been fired in the Capitol Rotunda and said representatives had been ordered to grab gas masks from under their seats.

Shortly before the riots, Brooks, who has been at the forefront of challenging the election results, was among those at a rally with President Trump near the White House. In a fiery speech, Brooks urged that “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Brooks later tweeted a condemnation of “the violent mobs who stormed the U.S. Capitol” and added he “hope[s] law enforcement and our judicial system prosecute these thugs to the fullest extent of the law.”

Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama’s only Democratic member of Congress, confirmed the House Chamber had been locked and said she was praying no one was injured in the “chaos.”

Sewell said around 4 p.m. that she was “trembling” but that she and her staff are safe.

Sewell could be seen in the House chamber in a picture from Getty Images.

Sewell later released the following statement:

“Today marks a dark day in America’s history. The words of the President of the United States matter. Donald Trump’s serial lies and inflammatory rhetoric incited the armed insurgents who stormed the U.S. Capitol today. He encouraged this attempted coup and the violence that ensued is a result of his recklessness. After four years of his consistent efforts to discredit our democratic institutions, President Trump and his allies have brought us to this sad place in our nation’s history.

I am grateful for the many prayers, calls, texts, and emails that my staff and I continue to receive concerning our safety and well-being. Thankfully, we are safe now.

I was in the gallery of the House chamber watching the election certification proceedings when the security breach occurred. As I was lying on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives huddled with other members of Congress, struggling to fit on a tear gas mask and fearing the thunderous sound of impending violence, I trembled and wept not only for our safety but for the devastating threat to our democracy.

Our democracy is under unprecedented assault. These domestic terrorists do not represent America, our democracy, or the values of our nation. As elected officials, we must set aside our political differences and work together for the common good, remembering that our loyalty is not to a political party or to an individual but to the Constitution and the oath that we swore to protect and defend our democracy.

The U.S. Congress will not be deterred or intimidated by this insurrection and violence. We will carry out our constitutional duty to certify the Electoral College results tonight and, on January 20, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the United States.”

New District 2 congressman, Republican Barry Moore, said “lawlessness and anarchy are never the answer.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby called it “a very dark day” for the United States and said “Our Founding Fathers warned against mob rule.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican who represents the state’s District 3, said he didn’t have any statement to make Wednesday but said he was safe.

Wednesday night, Rogers was one of 147 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to sustain objections to the election results.

On Thursday, he tweeted about the events at the Capitol.

Rep. Jerry Carl, a newly elected Republican representing District 1, tweeted a condemnation of protestors’ actions, saying “violence is never the answer.”

Rep. Robert Aderholt, R- District 4, said the nation has always been able to settle its disputes in a peace way but later added in a video that some “crossed the line” when they injured officers and damage the Capitol.

Rep. Gary Palmer, R-District 6, tweeted that Wednesday was “a sad day for everyone and the scenes we witnessed today were unacceptable.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has since condemned the violence, stating:

“I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of those who today attempted to storm the Capitol, a place where passionate but peaceful protestors had gathered and lawmakers debated inside. Our country is built upon the foundation of the rule of law. American democracy guarantees the right of peaceful protest. Those who chose to engage in violence and anarchy should and will be held accountable under the law. “I stand by the brave men and women of law enforcement as they work to restore order. God bless the Capitol Police and all members of law enforcement who, as always, have showed such great courage in protecting their fellow man.”

Leaders of both the Alabama Republican Party and the Alabama Democratic Party have since reacted to Wednesday’s events, also condemning the violence.

Democratic Party Chairman, Rep. Chris England stated:

“Today, during a joint session of Congress to fulfill the legal obligation to count the votes of the Electoral College, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building. This mob was encouraged by Pres. Donald Trump, Rep. Mo Brooks, and others at a rally before they breached the doors of the Capitol. They disrupted the peaceful transfer of power, broke the law, and must be prosecuted for their sedition.

The American people voted loud and clear that Donald Trump did not deserve a second term as President of the United States, and the disorder of this lame duck period shows clearly why. Pres.-elect Joe Biden and Vice Pres.-elect Kamala Harris will take office on January 20, 2021 because the Constitution says they will. At that point, this sorry period of American history will be over, but our healing will just begin.

Citizens should note who defended the Constitution and who did not. Politicians who would throw away America’s founding ideals do not deserve to hold office—ever. They should be rejected, and should never be part of public life again for their opposition to our shared values. Mob rule, conspiracy theory mongering, and encouragement of this siege of the Capitol are the natural consequence of years of flirtation by Republican politicians with the fringe elements of their party. As the prophet says, they “have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan stated:

“The Alabama Republican Party strongly condemns any violence and unlawful actions occurring on Capitol Hill today. We support law enforcement efforts to control and arrest any person who is violating laws and causing harm to property or people. These actions are not American and cannot be tolerated.

“We strongly support peaceful assembly and protest as guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Electoral College voting process, which is allowed by the Constitution, must be allowed to continue without disruption. It is important that citizens contact their representatives to have their voices heard in an orderly and respectful manner.”

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey stated:

“Tonight, as our elected representatives reconvened in the U.S. Capitol, Vice President Pence reminded us that violence never wins in our great nation — freedom wins. I am pleased to see the people’s work continue and the rule of law upheld. The resiliency of our country will always prevail.”

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