Congress Resumes Joint Session Hours After Protesters Stormed The Capitol
By Bill Galluccio
January 7, 2021
Hours after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, Congress resumed a joint session to certify the results of the presidential election.
Earlier in the day, protesters breached the barricades protecting the building and battled with police officers as they fought their way inside. The protesters managed to overwhelm the officers, who used smoke grenades, flashbangs, and tear gas inside the Capitol Rotunda. At one point, there was a standoff between armed officers and a mob of angry rioters trying to break down the door to the House Chamber.
One woman was shot and killed during the unrest inside the building. D.C. police said they arrested 13 people and confiscated five weapons. Officials said that none of the people taken into custody were from the area.
It took several hours for the police and federal agents to secure the building and disperse the crowd that remained outside. The National Guard was deployed and is stationed around the building.
The proceedings resumed where they left off, with the House and Senate meeting separately to debate an objection to Arizona's election results. It is unclear if Republicans will continue with their plans to object to the results in other swing states.
Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Senate as the session resumed.
"We defended our Capitol today. We'll always be grateful. The men and women who stayed at their post to defend this historic place," Pence said. "Those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. This is still the people's house. As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy."
The House resumed their session just after 9 p.m. ET. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to hold those who stormed the Capitol Building accountable for their actions.
"To those who strove to tear us from our responsibility, you have failed," she said. "To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of ... American democracy, justice will be done."
She vowed that Congress would complete certifying President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory.
"Despite the shameful actions of today, we still will do so," said Pelosi. "We will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of."
"Congress has returned to the Capitol," she said. "We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night. We will stay as long as it takes."
The Senate and the House voted against the objection to Arizona's electoral votes and reconvened the joint session to continue certifying the results from the rest of the states. Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley objected to the electoral votes in Pennsylvania.
The House and the Senate then convened separately to debate the objection.
Photo: Getty Images