AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas congressmen on both sides of the aisle who attended President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday are commending the ceremony’s sentiment of unity.
Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat representing District 35, said the events of the past two weeks heightened the significance of the ceremony.
“We were at the very spot where these insurrectionists were breaking into the Capitol. And I think it really did show a triumph of democracy that we were there together, together with major Republican leaders, including Vice President Pence and former President George Bush, an outpouring of confidence in the future of our country,” Rep. Doggett said.
Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, District 10, said the symbolism of that peaceful transition of power stuck with him most.
“The most powerful is that democracy prevails, that even though we had domestic terrorists attacking the Capitol, we still certified the Electoral College. We had a peaceful transition of power today. And I think that sends a very powerful message to, you know, all Americans, whether you’re Republican or Democrat,” Rep. McCaul said Wednesday.
Demomocratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, District 28, explained how the ceremony was different than any other he’s attended in the past.
“Walking in, there was a checkpoint, you had police, you had National Guard with automatic weapons, you had a secret service, you had Border Patrol, you had high fences, you had barbed wire, something we’ve never seen before,” Rep. Cuellar said, but agreed with his colleagues the ceremony itself was one of peace and unity.
“He focused on one thing, unity, he could have said things like other presidents have said, ‘I promise you point number one, point number two, point number three,’ he didn’t even go to that. All he talked about was unity,” Rep. Cuellar said.
“It’s the start of the healing process. And I think that’s what we have to do is we got to come together, and we got to realize that we are Americans. You know, we’re not Democrats and Republicans. We’re not Independents, we are Americans, we should all be rooting for our president to be successful,” Congressman Tony Gonzales, (R – District 23) said after the ceremony.
But Rep. Gonzales is calling on the president to follow through with actions, to continue the unity.
“Now, the real difficulty is the actions. Our policymakers have to tone down the rhetoric. And we really have to find ways for us to come together. And I think there absolutely are ways to do that, you know, whether that be helping distribute the vaccine, whether that be reopening our economy, and others,” Rep. Gonzales explained.