WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) — As protests erupt in Washington, D.C. forcing a lockdown of the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, Iowa lawmakers are reacting to the chaos.
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst says she served in uniform to defend the right to peacefully protest, but says what's happening at the Capitol is not peaceful nor a protest.
Sen. Ernst was at the Senate debate, before Congress was evacuated. The senator has confirmed that her and her staff are safe.
First Congressional District Representative Ashley Hinson is condemning the violence and calling it unacceptable no matter the circumstance. She says she doesn’t “believe this is who we are as a nation” and is thanking law enforcement officers for keeping lawmakers safe.
Third Congressional District Representative Cindy Axne tweeted out just before 1:30 central time that she and her staff are safe. She says they are sheltering in place as they await more information on protesters breaching the Capitol building. Axne is calling on President Trump to ask protesters to stop.
When Wednesday's debate ended abruptly, Sen. Grassley of Iowa was seen being led away from the front of the Senate floor. A tweet from Grassley's account says he and his staff are in a secure location.
Grassley issued the following statement:
“Today’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on American democracy itself. This was not a demonstration of any of our protected, inalienable rights. These were un-American acts worthy only of condemnation. Those who plowed over police barricades, ignored law enforcement or desecrated our monument to representative democracy flouted the rule of law and disgraced our nation.
“I condemn today’s violence in the strongest terms and perpetrators deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“The United States has stood as a beacon of self-governance, free expression and the peaceful transfer of leadership since its founding, and we must uphold these principles. Our nation has been through highs and lows. We’ve vigorously debated differing philosophies and have endured disagreements on policy and leadership. Through it all, our shared values have held strong. We must not lose grip of those shared values today.
“This is a sad day for America. As a nation, we must be better than this.”Sen. Charles Grassley, (R) Iowa
U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra, who represents the 4th Congressional District in Iowa, says it is every Americans right to protest peacefully, but violence is never the answer. Feenstra is asking people to remain peaceful.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the behavior at the Capitol is unacceptable and "not who we are as Americans."
Sen. Ben Sasse released the following statement:
"Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution."
"Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division."
"Americans are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americans aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades."
"This is not how we peacefully transfer power. The American people are tough, our Constitutional order is strong, and we will meet this moment with strength and grace."Sen. Ben Sasse, (R) Nebraska
U.S. Representative Adrian Smith of Nebraska released the following statement:
"As Americans, we believe the rule of law and protection of civil liberties differentiate our nation as the greatest on earth. While many protestors are exercising their constitutional right to be heard peacefully, I urge all protestors to do so and to follow the directions of law enforcement. We are working to ensure concerns about the conduct of the presidential election in several states are heard through the existing legal process, and illegal disruptions of this process are unacceptable and not constructive."Rep. Smith (R-NE)
Congressman Smith is confirmed to be safe, at the Capitol.
South Dakota Governor Krist Noem Noem said what is happening at the Capitol has to stop.
President Donald Trump
President Trump tweeted just before 1:45 central time urging support for Capitol Police and other law enforcement and calling for protesters to stay peaceful.