Wednesday was a difficult day for our country. Americans witnessed our nation’s Capitol besieged by rioters that chose violence and destruction instead of peaceful protests.  

The violence brought forward on our nation’s Capitol is a national tragedy that will leave a dark stain on our history for generations to come. Wednesday’s actions were a direct result of the lies and hateful rhetoric that President Donald Trump has continuously sowed since his loss in November.  

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela

However, the violent insurrection of a few did not stifle the millions of lawful votes cast by the American people and Congress completed its solemn duty late into the evening to ensure our Democratic process remains intact.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won the 2020 election decisively, with a historic margin of victory. Wednesday night, it was an honor to join my colleagues in Congress to affirm the electoral votes of the 2020 election and declare Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States, ensuring that the will of the American people stands.

Yesterday was a dark day in American history, but I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of Capitol Police, local law enforcement and our National Guard Servicemembers who worked to keep Members of Congress, reporters, and staff safe so we could return to make the certification of the 2020 election possible.

As we start a new year and prepare to turn a new chapter, I call on my colleagues across the aisle in both the House and Senate to put aside divisive political rhetoric. It is time we come together to help our country heal and work on passing legislation that meets the great needs of this moment. I am ready to get to work for the American people who deserve better.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela of Brownsville. It appears in the Rio Grande Guardian with the author’s permission. Vela can be reached via email at: [email protected].

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, stopping to look at damage in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)

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