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tv   Views from the House Reps. Zoe Lofgren Rodney Davis and Madeleine Dean  CSPAN  September 14, 2021 8:16pm-9:04pm EDT

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u.s. gymnastics physician and convicted sex offender. the hearing comes after the fbi inspector general found the agency failed to properly investigate reports that mr. nasser was assaulting young athletes. inspector general horwitz and fbi director christopher wray will also appear before the committee. watch our live coverage wednesday on c-span, online at or listen on the c-span radio app. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including we succumb. >> media, -- we never explode down. schools and businesses when virtual, we powered a new reality. the media, we are building to work you had. media, supports c-span, along
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with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> madame speaker, members of congress, pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the united states, the senate and house of representatives are meeting in joint session. to verify certificates and count the votes of the electors of the several states, the president and vice president of the united states. >> at 1:00 p.m. on january 6, the house incident -- and senate met in joint session to count the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. an hour later, a mob entered the capitol with the intention of disrupting the vote. as the protesters moved closer to the senate and house chambers, vice president pence and speaker pelosi were evacuated to safe locations. minutes later, security officials ushered steny hoyer and other congressional leadership off the house floor. with tension rising in the building, the house and senate abruptly recessed.
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>> without objection, the house is going to go back into recess. >> there were a few dozen members of congress and the house chamber at that time , including representative zoe lofgren and robbie davis, who both served as tellers for the counting of the votes. first, california democrat zoe lofgren starts by telling us why she was sitting on the house dais that day. >> i am chair of the house administration committee and was tasked as such to be one of the tellers for receiving the electoral college votes, myself and the ranking member, mr. davis and the rules committee, which is the equivalent committee of the senate. when there was an objection to the arizona electoral college
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vote, we broke as the constitution provides into our separate bodies. of course we were already in the , house chambers. i had been working with the team of other house members to try and prepare. we had heard that there would be challenges that we thought were improper so we had worked, myself and others, to prepare our team for that discussion. and we really decided that the primary people to defend the votes of the states where the members of congress from that state. and so we had a lot of data and information that we were able to provide to state allegations that might be challenged.
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but i gave, i think i was the first to speak on the democratic side defending the constitution. and at the conclusion of my remarks, i needed to stay on the floor but a lot of the republican members were not wearing masks, and i wanted to stay as far away from their air as i could. i didn't want to get infected. so i went into the cloakroom, the democratic cloakroom. there was no one there, and i felt somewhat safer in terms of covid exposure from the republicans. there are tv's in the cloakroom and one was on the seating. -- on the floor proceedings. i thought i will turn the other one onto news to see what is going on. and when i did, i saw that there was this tremendous mob outside
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the congress. and that they appeared to be breaking into the congress. in fact, it looks like they had broken into the congress. [crowd shouting] so i went back out on the floor and no one seemed to be aware that that was going on. i went back into the cloakroom, and by then one of the cloakroom staffers come up with a capitol police officer was trying to lock the doors, the doors into
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the cloakroom are really heavy and there is a lock, and the police officer was able to lock it so the people outside of the cloakroom couldn't get in. but he couldn't, there were some problem with the mechanism and he couldn't lock it so people couldn't go out through that door. i remember the staffers saying no one is going out, don't worry about that. i remember i went out back on the floor, and by then it seemed pretty apparent that there was a big problem. i remember talking to tom o'halloran, who was a former sheriff and really an expert in security. i said tom, i think there is a problem, a mob has broken in. he said, don't worry about that, there will be a swat team on them very soon. i thought, i'm not adequate -- adequately explaining what is going on. tom was waiting on the floor to speak and by then we can hear
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pounding on the doors. at some point, i can't remember in what order, but i talked to the sergeant at arms who didn't seem too alarmed at the time, actually. and we were getting alerts on our phones, like the canon office building had been locked down. shelter-in-place, and around that point i looked and realized that the speaker who had been presiding was being whisked away by her security team. she is second in line to the presidency the vice president , and the speaker in terms of line of succession.
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and i thought, we are in trouble here. jim mcgovern, chairman of the rules committee, went to preside to trying keep matters going. >> members will take their seats. the house will be in order. >> a police officer came and made an announcement that the capitol had been breached. [indiscernible]
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>> i think at some point, mcgovern realized that we're not going to be able to continue the proceedings. a capitol officer came and said that it was necessary to evacuate, and that we should take the hoods. there are hoods underneath each seat in the chamber, take them out and be prepared to put them on. so everybody did. and i think when you pull the little red tag, it activates and so there had been teargas released in the rotunda which is why we were advised we might need to wear them. there was this tremendous kind of hissing noise from all these
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hoods, it was the background of the moment. and of course the pounding and the noise from the mob had become much louder. at some point, someone up in the chambers, in the gallery, a member was yelling at the republicans to call trump and have trump call off his mob. and there were some little yelling back and forth among members in the gallery. [indiscernible] >> it was pretty orderly on the house floor, where i was. as we were told to evacuate, we
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were really brought out to the speaker's gallery and down the stairway and at that point, we could hear people at the other end of the hallway, the mob. i was down the stairs, glass was being broken. i think the officer that prevented the mob from entering probably saved our lives because we were not completely evacuated, we were walking down the stairs. there was one member with a came -- i cane at the front of the line and we were behind him. , ultimately we got to the rayburn tunnel and then to
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longworth where we walked. it was a large group, i didn't count how many members, but a fairly large group. they were to shelter in a room in the longworth building. my office is in that building, i thought, i'm on the fourth floor, i think i will just go there. so they went right, i went left, and went up to the fourth floor to my office which was barricaded. my chief of staff was there all by herself and had to move this gigantic table to block the door, so she unblocked it enough for me to get in, and i realized then that we would probably be safe from the mob for the moment. throughout this time, my family, especially my son and daughter, had been texting me, making sure that i was safe. i said i'm safe, i'm on the floor of the house. they are going, we don't think so.
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so i was able to text them that i was in my office, and looking out the window i have a view of the capitol, and i could see the tremendous chaos across the street. it was really uncontrolled, and i didn't know what would happen next, whether the mob would reach the office buildings, it in their search to hunt down members are really what was going on. i did text the authorities wondering why steps were not being taken to control the mob. i realize now it is because the forces were completely overwhelmed. they couldn't have actually done that. but i couldn't help but contrast the kind of very aggressive crowd control measures used
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against black lives matter demonstrators who were for the most part peaceful, and the reaction to this violent mob. so we waited there for many hours until finally the guard arrived and the matter was under control. i was on the phone, of course, with jamie fleet, the staff director for house admin, who was over there. it was essential to get back in the building, it was an opportunity to finish our business at a secure location. i said that's not going to be good enough, we need to show the country that the mob did not overturn this government, and of course the speaker was thinking the same thing. jamie went over and said it was really a mess.
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i mean actually the mob never got into the chambers, our chambers, they did the senate, but he said there was blood on the floor and the place had been trashed. the janitorial staff was over there cleaning it up, making sure that the congress could reconvene and as soon as it was safe and the bomb dogs had been through, we could reconvene. i was there until the end of all of the counting, and the tellers had to stay and sign things. i didn't get back to my residence in d.c. until after 3:00, that's when i knew that i was safe. >> when you got to your residence at 3:00 a.m., do you remember the feeling and the thoughts you had?
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you presumably had time to reflect on the day? >> i really thought, what a tragic day for the united states that this frenzied mob could have reached the capital, -- breached the capital -- the capitol something that didn't , even happen in the civil war, and try and essentially overthrow the government. i mean, we were in the middle of the constitutional process that is key to implementing the votes of the american people in the selection of their next president. and they tried to prevent that from happening. that is sedition. so that was a very troubling day for the united states. >> also on the house dais was illinois republican robbie davis. the house administration
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committee's ranking member. he recounts his experience at the front of the house chamber on january 6. >> i was one of the four tellers that was tasked with reading the results from each state, sitting in front of the vice president and also the speaker of the house. this is been a pretty perfunctory operation, when i had been witnessing it before as a member of congress. we knew this one was going to be a little more popular to watch. at the same time, i did not think we would see what we saw that day. >> you are one of the tellers, at what point do you realize something is going on outside the chamber doors? >> well, earlier in the day i just anticipated being on the floor for a very long time. i remember being over in rayburn and i was grabbing a quick bite to eat at the subway shop that is in the basement.
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i'm like, i better go ahead and get two sandwiches so i don't -- i can come back later during the debate any the other one for dinner. i got those two sandwiches, and i remember thinking to myself, this will be somewhat normal and it would just be a long day, and we will get through it. listen to the debate, have votes, and what have you. i started noticing something wasn't right when we began debating arizona. while that was going on i went , down to the sergeant at arms office and i saw on the video screens and the outdoor cameras, i saw different parts of the perimeter being breached. i saw capitol police officers in the capitol basically panicking -- not panicking, but it being a very high, somewhat panicked mode. that is when i ran back to my
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office and ate one of the sandwiches really quick while i'm waiting to get some answers. my team called me because they were on the floor, my house administration team. my deputy staff director, nick crocker, my director of member services and my general counsel. jen called me and said, i think you better get back here, they are talking about closing the floor down. i hurried up and ate my sandwich as i was walking out my office door, and i was walking onto the floor as leadership was being evacuated. i saw steve scalise and his team going out as i was going in. >> did you have a conversation with them? >> let's just say my comment can now be summed up via text as "wtf.” >> did anybody from leadership tell you what was going on as
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they were coming out, or did they have any comment? >> now we already knew what was , going on. i had seen the outer perimeter being breached so i was going , onto the floor while they were leaving, and just minutes later, that's when all the doors were shut. we were seeing footage of the senate being breached, so everybody was on pretty high alert. i was talking to new members, helping them to open up the hoods that i had never touched before in my eight years as a member of congress. now we are figuring out how to open them and how to possibly put them on, which i never had to do, but at the same time, there were a lot of freshmen there. that i had gotten to note during orientation. this was their first real experience as a member of congress, and we were kind of watching them and talking to my fellow colleagues about what we could do to try and stop this. >> what were those conversations
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like? tell us about them. >> i remember a conversation i had with marjorie taylor greene. she was very active during orientation. she was very upset about what was going on, and her and i chatted. she said, what can i do? i said how about you go back in the cloakroom and film a video and post it on social media and if you have any influence tell , them to stop. and she did that. that is one example of the types of conversations we had during that short time before we were evacuated off the floor. >> so you're waiting, watching, who evacuate's you off the floor? what was that like? >> the most superior capitol police, after all the internal doors were locked, wooden doors that i have really not seen on the inside, because usually they
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are open, they were all locked and those doors began to be pounded on by the folks who broke into the capitol. they were offering instructions to be calm and stay in the chamber, and the next thing you know, they said everybody moved to this side, this exit. when we were going about exiting in an orderly fashion, on what i would say is the republican side of the speaker's lobby, we could hear the pounding going on on the speaker's lobby doors. [crowd shouting]
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>> i was with my team and we were near the end of all the members being evacuated. some members, i would ask, are you ok? i remember giving raskin a big hug because of what happened to his son just a few days or weeks earlier and i had not had a chance to see him yet. thinking back that was pretty , surreal to think about that at the time. just the tragedy that he went through, now going through the evacuation off the house floor, i felt for him and everybody else. but i walked out the door and immediately ran into one of my
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colleagues, ron wright, who has since passed away, but was undergoing treatments for lung cancer. he couldn't walk down the stairs. so the bottom line is, a capitol police officer and i picked ron up and carried him downstairs, and by the grace of god, there was a wheelchair on the first floor that we used to get him fully evacuated. >> what were you thinking as you were going about this? >> how brave the capitol police officers were. i have seen that bravery already on the baseball field in alexandria, virginia, just a few years ago. i saw what well-trained officers do when they run toward gunfire so all of us can run away from it. i saw that same bravery from the capitol police that day as we were being evacuated, and as they wanted to do their job to
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get everybody safely off the lord and out of that speaker's lobby and into a safer area. it was very surreal when i was able to go back to the capitol before everyone else. we finally left the floor at 4:00 a.m. i was one of the last people off the floor after signing the official canvases. watched the vice president, speaker pelosi and others leave. i went back to my office and changed because i had a 6:30 a.m. flight back home. so i go from being a teller on the house floor to complete a process that's going to go down in our nation cycle is to as one of the worst days in the legislative branch history, but in the end i'm going back to put my jeans on, hat and i go take a quick nap at the united gate at
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reagan national. the irony is, as i woke up, there were people that could have been in the capitol that day that were sitting around next to us getting on our flight. so i don't think they realized the impact of the decision they may have made to break the law and disobey a direct order and come into that capitol. and they should be held accountable for that. >> while congressman davis was acting as a teller, democrat madeleine dean was preparing the desk preparing to debate the challenge for the state of pennsylvania. here is how she started her day. >> i was preparing for the pennsylvania challenge to the electors. i wanted to listen in on the first challenge, which was arizona, so i had left my office , i had an allotted time to go
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up to the gallery to listen in and observe. at the same time, i was finalizing my remarks, and so as i waited in the gallery and heard the argument being made, i remember standing in the gallery next to congressman dean phillips. the two of us were listening to the arguments and just saying, shame, shame to these arguments. in anticipation of the day, i made sure that none of my staff was in. we expected it could be difficult, we had planned that i would park underground, that i would use only the underground tunnel, knowing that there could be outside protests of some kind. and so out of an abundance of safety and caution i made sure , we stayed underground, and i was up in the gallery. the very first notice that something was wrong was there
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was a strange announcement from the floor, which was, sit down, and we complied, of course. and then it was, would everybody either neil or prepare to live on the ground --kneel or prepare to lie on the ground. with that, i started to plan, maybe i could shield myself behind the front rall if there is some concern. so i started to move down a few rows and encouraged another colleague to come with me. and then they said would you take out your gas masks, they are under your seat. i had no idea there were gas masks under the seats. that stunned me. so we all scrambled and got the gas masks. i don't know if you saw some of the footage of that, but they are triple wrapped, so we were
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helping one another, kneeling down on the ground trying to , protect ourselves while unwrapping these tinfoil masks. veronica escobar was wearing a beautiful white jacket, and i thought she looked like two -- too beautiful a target. so i yelled at her to get down. then they said to put on the gas masks, the rioters have reached the rotunda and teargas has been disbursed. dose dispensed. all the while, i have to admit, there is this protective mechanism where you say these are important protections but they won't be necessary here in the chamber. the moment i thought that, i heard them banging on the
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chamber doors. that, to me, signaled the extraordinary seriousness of it, having no idea of the numbers or anything else, but to hear that banging, it made it extremely surreal. we were told to put our gas masks on and await instructions to go across the gallery into to a safe place. i was terrified. i called my husband, i called my son. i feel bad now that i scared them. >> what were those conversations like with your husband and your son? >> i remember my son, i could hear his wife there, they were on speakerphone together. they were just begging me to stay safe. i do feel bad that i scared them.
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but i always had confidence that we would be all right. i didn't really get the gravity of it. i did sort of visualize that from that place where the piercing of the doors took place, i pictured an ar style weapon spraying around the chamber and targets on the ground and up above in the gallery. that is why i cap --kept staying below that wall. the conversations were i tried to assure them to stay calm, i would be all right. >> and what were the conversations like with your colleagues, as you are trying to hide yourselves and protect yourselves behind that wall in the gallery? >> that it was unreal. i kept using the expression actually as the arguments were
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going on, do they realize -- do they recognize they've taken this lie so far, too far? that is what i talked with dean about as we were waiting don't , they realize how dangerously far they have taken this lie? these false arguments, how they have misled the american people into having americans attack americans? but i have to admit to you, greta, because we did not have the benefit of television, i had no idea of the numbers. i remember at one point prior to the breaking into the gallery, i wanted to go back to the office to finish my remarks, and as i tried to, a very nice, very tall capitol police officer said ma'am, you can't go back there, there is a bomb threat. i peeked out a window in a darkened office, i actually went
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into this darkened office and peeked out through a porthole window up at the top of that portion of the gallery. and i saw the other side of the capitol, and there weren't so many protesters. it did not look anything like what was happening on the other side. so i had some reassurance that all is well, at least on this side. with that, i heard a radio system talking about infiltration of the capitol visitor center, almost like a radio report, that someone had gotten into the capitol visitor center. that's when i went back in the gallery in that's when we got that series of instructions. your mind just says, maybe the capitol police are having to deal with two dozen people.
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it seemed so ad hoc, they said we are going to get you to a safe place, and they started yelling rayburn cafeteria. and streams of us went down escalators through the tunnels, journalists and others and staff together, with many members, of course. with very few officers visible to us. in fact, the one man who was directing traffic literally had on one of those yellow traffic guard vests, go this way, go this way. as we ran out, some were climbing over chairs, climbing over railings. i remember at one point someone was trying to get under a
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railing and whoever was in front of him got kicked in the face. it was just desperate, with people just moving. i don't know what the plan was but they raced us us to rayburn cafeteria and then i started to call my staff and said, this is ridiculous, this is not a safe space, i don't know what they are thinking. not too long after, they moved us over to the ways and means room. but the conversations were stunned, terrified, disbelief. it was at least two hours before i saw television and knew the volume and the violence of what was going on. i'm still upset over staff and what happened to staff.
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i remember at one point, i'm sure it was the best of intentions, but they said members only. well what was staff supposed to do, stand in the hallway and be victims? fortunately it was just a mix of folks that all went into that large room. i made calls to family and they said, can you tell us where you are? and i said no, they have asked us not to but i assure you i'm in a safe space with many of my colleagues. i remember someone pulled up a chair and sat down, it was a colleague who was a doctor. i'm forgetting his name, but he came around to a person and said, are you all right? do you have any underlying health conditions? you saw the photo up in the
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gallery as they awaited their escape. she talked with the doctor through what she was feeling and he talked her through it also. i tell you that to say that, i remember i said right away to my colleagues that we have to catalog the heroic kindness and the good acts along with the bad. there were a lot of good acts. >> you were in that room for how long? >> i think it was for four plus hours. this is how disorienting the whole experience was, i was desperate for a ladies room and a television. i looked around and i said, oh my god, of course i know this room very well. i knew the back rooms, i knew where the ladies room was, so i went to the area behind the ways
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and means room where members, republican and democrat, were watching, they had fox on an cnn or msnbc. it was literally two hours in when i got to see the magnitude of this insurrection and the gravity of it. i went back there to get water and use the restroom and just watched in stunned disbelief with republicans and democrats. >> at that point, as you understand how many people came to the capitol, now what are the conversations like with your colleagues? >> i remember i spoke to a couple of republicans and said let's just make this a private conversation, so i wouldn't say who it was, but they were stunned, shocked and in horror
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and disbelief. there was a moment early on in the holding room that i thought was very powerful, and that is when liz cheney, they stood with microphones parallel to each other and saying the same words, directions as to please don't reveal who you are, don't take interviews, if you have any medical issues, and in unison, the power of saying, and we will go back and complete our duty. we will return to the floor and complete our constitutional duty . i thought it was just a powerful moment of unity and of clarity, that we had a job to do, and this shameful, deadly insurrection incited by a failed president would not stop us.
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>> you were in that room for four hours. what happens next? >> let me point out also, while we were in that room , most of us wore masks, and some scoffed. we had to be necessarily quite close together. it's hundreds of people, and some scoffed, some graciously offered masks to republican members who said no. so between the shame of the argument, the shame of aiding that incited insurrection, and the shame of using the pandemic as a political football and not being interested in protecting themselves or their colleagues or their staff, it was just an
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infuriating set of emotions. i was in touch with a colleague in pennsylvania, she was trapped in her office, and invited me and others -- we go by the fab four. in fact we all wound up there. after staying in that room for so very long, i texted her, was she still ok? and so i made my way now in the dark, to her office in longworth. and she let me in, she had literally barricaded her doors. she had moved her desk away from the window, just a total quick reconfiguration of her office entirely to protect yourself -- herself against an attack. just insane.
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i spent maybe an hour or so there, talking with her about how she was. others came in, and everybody talked about where they were. >> how often do you think about that day? and does it make you get emotional when you do? >> sure, i think of it every single day. mostly in utter disbelief that that actually happened. it is stunning to me that americans attacked americans. that they attacked police officers. they beat, and in one case killed, a police officer and it , was all riled up and radicalized over an incredible,
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insidious infection of lies about one another. the power of lies to do that kind of damage to human beings, to our democracy, to our seat of government. so i know i think of it every single day, and i think of the precariousness of it all. for the republican members to continue with the challenge, i always think, don't they realize they were at risk just as much as i was? those rioters were not going to say, wait a second, are you republican or democrat? they didn't care about mike pence being a republican. being vice president to the president and to all of us. they wanted to kill us. if they had gotten their hands on any one of us -- it is infuriating. it is infuriating. and i'm in a bit of disbelief to
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this day. >> shortly after 3:30 in the morning on january 7, lawmakers certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. >> the whole number of electors appointed to vote for president of the united states is 538. the majority is 207. the votes for president of the united states are as follows, joseph r biden, junior of the state of delaware has received 306 votes. donald j. trump has received 232 votes. the whole number of electors appointed to vote for vice president of the united states is 538. within that whole number, a majority is 270. the votes for vice president of the united states are as follows. kamala d. harris of the state of california has received 306 votes. michael r. pence of indiana has received 232 votes.
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the purpose of the joint session having concluded pursuant to senate concurrent resolution one, 117 congress, the chair declares the joint session dissolved. [applause] >> our coverage of the january 6th joint session and congressional hearings, examining what happened on that day, can be found on stay with c-span for continuing coverage of the investigation into the january 6th attack. >> our series january 6th views from the house continues tomorrow night with representative hakeem jeffries, ronny jackson, and colin allred wednesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern >> c-span's "washington journal." every day, we are taking your
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calls live on the air on the news of the day and discussing policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, a conversation on vaccine mandates with dr. joel rosenberg of the competitive enterprise institute. and dr. kaplan, founding director of medical ethics at the nyu school of medicine. the wall street journal's richard rubin talks about congressional democrats proposing deck -- tax plan. and scott mcfarland gives the latest on the january 6th investigation and prosecution of suspects. watch c-span's "washington journal," live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more. including broadband. ♪
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>> buckeye broadband supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> today, the house ways and means committee held their third day of work on the president's $3.5 trillion budget proposal. here is a portion of today's hearing. watch the full hearing tonight at


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