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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered a speech on the House Floor condemning the violence and destruction that broke out in the Capitol earlier today, and praising the heroic efforts of the law enforcement agents and members of Congress who selflessly helped prevent further chaos. Leader McCarthy added that, despite today’s events, Republicans will continue to follow the Constitution and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity to ensure Americans’ voices continue to be heard.

“Madam Speaker — I rise for a point of personal privilege. I rise to address the chamber about what happened today and where we go from here.

“The violence, destruction, and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic, and un-American. It was the saddest day I’ve ever had serving as a Member in this Institution. The Capitol was in chaos. Police officers were attacked. Guns were drawn on this very floor. A woman tragically lost her life.

“No one wins when this building and what it stands for are destroyed. America is better than that.

“We saw the worst of America this afternoon. Yet in the midst of violence and fear, we also saw the best of America. 

“It starts with our law enforcement — the capitol police, national guard, FBI, and Secret Service who faced the most difficult challenges but did their duty with confidence and strength. 

“It extends to this chamber — where both Democrats and Republicans showed courage, calm, and resolve.

“I’d like to recognize the members now who helped to hold the line: Markwayne Mullins. Tony Gonzalez. Jason Crow. Pat Fallon. And Troy Nehls. Working with Capitol Police, they ensured the floor of this chamber was never breached. These are heroes among us.

“And in my hand, is a symbol of their actions — a part of a hand sanitizer station that Rep. Mullin used to help defend the chamber. Markwayne, I’d like to give this to you now to commemorate your heroism today.

“Looking back on the past few hours, it is clear this Congress will not be the same after today — and I hope it will be for the better.

“We solve the problems before our nation not through destruction, but through debate. That is the heart of democracy.

“Now, it is time for this chamber to continue to show the best of America. 

“By returning here to complete the work we were sent to do, we are proving that our democracy cannot be disrupted by criminal behavior. We will not falter. We will not bend. We will not shrink from our duty.

“Mobs don’t rule America — laws rule America. It was true when our cities were burning this summer, and it’s true now.

“When Americans go to bed tonight, their lasting memory should not be a Congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress — conducting healthy debate.

“We may disagree on a lot in America, but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy.

“We will continue with the task we have been sent here to do.

“We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity.

“We will ensure Americans’ voices continue to be heard.”