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Oregon’s congressional delegation reflects on the insurrection anniversary

Oregon Public Broadcasting

One year ago today, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in a brazen attack against American democracy.

They were trying to prevent what’s normally a formality: Congress’s certification of the results of a presidential election.


They didn’t succeed in that goal, and later that night Congress reconvened and Vice President Mike Pence officially affirmed that Joe Biden had won the election.

But it’s hard to overstate the effects of January 6th on our political system and our national psyche. 

Peter DeFazio represents Oregon’s 4th House district. He said Thursday on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” that he worries too many Americans still believe the last election was stolen. His main priority is passing voting rights reform in the Senate.

“If we can’t convince (Sen. Kyrsten) Sinema and (Sen. Joe) Manchin that we’re looking potentially at the end of America’s representative democracy or constitutional republic, then we’re in deep trouble,” said DeFazio, referring to the two Democratic Senators who have blocked some of President Biden’s key bills.

DeFazio announced late last year that he is not seeking reelection. He emphasized that last year’s attack had nothing to do with his decision to retire.

Meanwhile, Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader, who represents Oregon’s fifth district, was slightly more upbeat. “I’m hopeful in Congress we can get back to working together on a thoughtful basis and not forget what happened on January 6,” said Schrader, “but move forward from that lessons learned democracy is fragile and don’t take it for granted. “

Still, Schrader expressed concern to OPB about the number of GOP leaders who are not speaking out against last year’s attacks.