Editor’s note: The following are remarks made by U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, on the floor of Congress on Jan. 12, 2021. The text is available in the House Record H138 Page 14.
Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. KATKO).
Mr. KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I rise as a proud American who has the distinct honor of serving this great body.
As a Member of Congress, we take an oath to defend the Constitution because at times it needs defending. On Jan. 6, the nation watched as insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, threatened the safety of countless individuals, and successfully, albeit it temporarily, disrupted our process.
In the midst of the attack, hundreds of Capitol Police officers heroically upheld their duty to defend the United States and protect those who work here. Many officers were severely injured and beaten, including one of my former interns.
Tragically, one officer, Officer Brian Sicknick, succumbed to the injuries he sustained. To Officer Sicknick’s family, I extend my deepest condolences. Know that we are praying for you. To all Capitol Police officers, we are deeply thankful for your bravery. Because of you, thousands of lives were protected, and the people’s work was able to resume.
Now, just as the Capitol Police protected us, Congress must match that courage and protect the Constitution, our democratic processes, and this nation. The President’s role in the insurrection is undeniable. Both on social media ahead of Jan. 6 and in his speech that day, he deliberately promoted baseless theories, creating a combustible environment of misinformation and division.
To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequences is a direct threat to the future of this democracy. For this reason, I will vote to impeach this President tomorrow.
The bill before us tonight is a non-binding resolution, which requests the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment, a step he has already said he will not take. It is merely a symbolic gesture, and I will oppose that resolution. After last week’s attack on the Cap-itol, it is clear our Nation is more divided than ever in recent history. We began this great experiment over 240 years ago. To preserve it, we must remember that our faith, race, or political party is not what unites us. What unites us is that we are Americans. I would encourage members of this body, and everyone at home, to remember that simple truth.