WASHINGTON— For months, the divisiveness around the 2020 election drove a deep wedge among lawmakers on Capitol Hill. On the day several Republicans in the House and Senate were set to object to the certification of the results, a large mob of Trump supporters forced Congress to recess as they stormed the chambers.
“We saw the violence that occurred two weeks ago with [Trump’s] attempts to stay in office and overturn the results of the election,” says Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin.
Sen. Baldwin says after that scary experience, many on the Hill today were looking forward to a peaceful transition of power.
“What's most important is our democracy survives, it's strong, it's resilient,” she said. “And we will have a new president and a new vice president”
President Joe Biden took his new oath of office and delivered his inaugural address under unusual circumstances this year. Instead of cheering crowds, thousands of flags flutter silently on the National Mall with thousands of troops and law enforcement securing the area.
While Sen. Baldwin believes the inauguration was secure, she’s still concerned about the lingering threat of more violence after the storming of the Capitol.
“I still think that there are reasons to be concerned about unrest and other types of perhaps violent activity in the days and weeks to come,” she says. “Perhaps not at the inauguration. But, who knows? I think we have to be very vigilant.”
The senator remains optimistic about the next four years. Baldwin is expecting fewer fights, and more progress, now that Congress and the White House will soon be controlled by Democrats.
“I am reviewing [Biden's] COVID rescue plan,” says Baldwin. “I know he hopes to follow that in short order with a recovery plan. And those are needed, we have to recognize that there is so much suffering still going on.”