Kaine: ‘Attack on the Capitol was an attack on our democracy’
Sen. Tim Kaine, fresh from 27 hours stuck on Interstate 95 trying to get back to the Capitol for a meeting on voting rights legislation, is thinking Jan. 6, 2021.
“One year ago, on Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob attempted to overturn the presidential election results and rob the American people of their duly elected leaders,” Kaine said in a statement released on Wednesday, a day ahead of the first anniversary of the attempted insurrection led by pro-Trump extremists.
“Urged on by President Trump, right-wing insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol aiming to commit the greatest voter disenfranchisement effort in recent American history. The insurrection led to the tragic loss of multiple heroic law enforcement officers from Virginia, and my heart is with their loved ones on this anniversary.
“The attack on the Capitol was an attack on our democracy and on the Constitution that I have sworn to defend ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ As I have said before, unchallenged evil spreads like a virus. Trump’s ‘big lie’ — that because he lost, there must have been fraud — animated the attack on January 6 and has been spreading through our democracy and corroding it since then. Certain states with Republican governors and legislatures have used that same lie to restrict voting access, disempower nonpartisan election officials, and even threaten jail time for Americans who help their neighbors vote. The state officials taking these steps may not have been storming the Capitol on January 6, but they are using the same ‘big lie’ to justify disenfranchising our fellow Americans. The best way to overcome that and protect our democracy is by passing comprehensive voting rights legislation like my Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
“Jan. 6 made clear that we must take action to ensure that citizens of this country have the freedom to vote without obstacles or intimidation. That is what the Freedom to Vote Act does. The Senate must rise to the occasion and pass it.”