The Jan. 6 insurrection has changed the dynamic of Congress and increased threats against lawmakers, but some elected officials feel like it's a distant memory.
The damage to the Capitol has been cleaned up and repaired, but lawmakers are facing a barrage of threats and a "toxic" atmosphere in the U.S. House, according to veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), but senators say their colleagues seem to have moved on in the year since Donald Trump supporters tried to overturn the election, reported Huffington Post.
“It seems like it’s as if it never happened,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). “I am very aware and still disappointed at what I see colleagues who went through the same thing, and yet it seems as if the further they get from that, it just didn’t seem to have any impact, or perhaps the facts look a little bit different than what they did at the time. That’s always been discouraging to me."
Republicans have been reluctant to criticize Trump, even as he continues to lie about his election loss, and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sidesteps questions about the twice-impeached one-term president and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) seems unwilling to anger him.
“The people moved very quickly back to the posture they had prior,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who along with Murkowski voted to convict Trump in his post-presidency impeachment trial. “Those who decided to buy into the stolen election dishonesty helped fuel the anger that led to the insurrection of Jan. 6. It’s something that will be part of their personal legacy but I don’t see a political price being paid.”
Seven GOP senators formally objected President Joe Biden's election win after the assault, but none of them has expressed regret and some continue to question the election results.
“If they want to be mad for the way I vote, then that’s their right,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). “Everybody wants to be loved, but I recognize that that’s impossible when you do what you think is right. When somebody says, ‘How do you sleep at night knowing some people don’t like you?’ my answer is, ‘With the fan on.’”
While senators have worked together on some bipartisan bills, some Democrats remain distrustful of Trump's allies in the chamber.
“I work every day with people who refused to authorize an investigation of an armed insurrection at our nation’s Capitol that ended up in the deaths of people who were defending us," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "That’s a kind of a disagreement that goes beyond policies or home-state interests."