One year later: Iowa delegation reflects on Jan. 6 insurrection, violence
One year after insurrectionists swarmed the U.S. Capitol, members of Iowa’s D.C. delegation thanked Capitol police officers and condemned the violent participants in the riot.
Rep. Cindy Axne began a Wednesday event with a moment of silence for Capitol police officers who were injured or killed on Jan. 6, 2021, when thousands of people attempted to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
Axne, the lone Democrat in Iowa’s delegation, said America had changed since the attacks on the Capitol. She pointed to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll that found about 1 in 3 Americans believe violence against the U.S. government is sometimes justified.
“That’s a sad thing when about a third of our country says that that’s okay,” Axne said. “And that an even larger amount… believe that there will be turmoil in future elections.”
In a column Thursday, Axne stressed the need to continue investigating the insurrection, with the goal of preventing future acts of violence or attempted political overthrow.
“We obviously have gone a little backwards in understanding that government should be working for the people, but it should also be something that we respect, and that we see as helping this country,” Axne told reporters. “And we should ensure that we’ve got the processes in place to protect it, because if we don’t, we literally limit ourselves from protecting the American people.”
In an emailed statement on Thursday, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks thanked the Capitol police officers who defended the Capitol and promised to continue to support them.
“What happened on January 6th, 2021, is never an appropriate outlet for political opinions, anger, disappointment, or frustrations whether on the left, the right, or the middle,” she said.
Rep. Ashley Hinson condemned the violence, calling the events of Jan. 6 “horrific.”
“Those who broke the law on January 6th should be prosecuted and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Hinson said in an email.
Rep. Randy Feenstra said in an emailed statement that the anniversary should not be “a day for partisan bickering or finger pointing.”
“Rather, today should serve as a reminder that, like in communities all across Iowa, we are not defined by our political disagreements but by our common bonds of faith, family, community and country,” Feenstra said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted Jan. 6 was “a difficult day.”
“I believe we need to focus on issues that bring our country together not tear us apart,” he wrote.
Ernst did not put out a statement on the anniversary by Thursday afternoon