Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Today’s Joint HSGAC-Rules Committee Hearing To Investigate The Insurrection Of The Capitol

February 23, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding hearings to investigate the insurrection of the Capitol on January 6th. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

January 6th is a day all of us will remember forever. The Capitol was breached by a violent mob. The Confederate Flag flown in the halls of our Union for the first time in American history. Insurrectionists—angry, bigoted—stood a few inches from where I’m standing now. It’s hard to believe these hallowed halls were occupied by such terrible, awful lawbreakers. Five Americans lost their lives, including a Capitol Police officer.

The impeachment of Donald Trump was one necessary consequence of the attack of January 6th, but it is far from the only one. We must—and will—continue to reckon with the events of that day.

This morning—in fact, as we speak—the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are holding a joint hearing to examine the attack on the Capitol. The committees will hear important testimony from the Acting Chief of Capitol Police, the Former Chief of Police, and former members of the Sergeant at Arms. Later this week, all Senators will be briefed by the acting Chief of Police and the acting Senate Sergeant at Arms on the current and future security measures around the Capitol.

It is our solemn responsibility to protect the Capitol and everyone who works and visits within it. It is our solemn duty to prevent a day like January 6th from ever, ever being repeated.

At the same time, the Capitol has been—and must be once again —a symbol of democracy that’s accessible to the people. No one expects the Capitol to remain a militarized zone in perpetuity.

We must strive to strike the difficult balance between access and security, and better understand the intelligence and security failures that led to the attack on January 6th.

This will be a crucial and bipartisan undertaking. I’m glad that Senators from both the Rules and Homeland Security Committees —from both parties—are starting that important work today.

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