Fallout from riot, virus leaves toxic mood on Capitol Hill Congress Republican National Guard Joe Biden Norma Torres


The mood is so bad at the U.S. Capitol that a Democratic congressman recently let an elevator pass him by rather than ride with Republican colleagues who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election.

Republicans say it’s Democrats who just need to get over it — move on from the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, end the COVID-19 restrictions and make an effort to reach across the aisle toward bipartisanship.

Not yet 100 days into the new Congress, the legislative branch has become an increasingly toxic and unsettled place, with lawmakers frustrated by the work-from-home limits imposed by the virus and suspicious of each other after the horrific riot over Trump’s presidency.

Particularly in the House, which remains partly shuttered by the pandemic and where lawmakers heard gunshots ring out during the siege, trust is low, settled facts about the Jan. 6 riot are apparently up for debate and wary, exhausted lawmakers are unsure how or when the “People’s House” will return to normal.

One newer congresswoman said it’s “heartbreaking” to see what has become of the institution she cherished, in the country she has taken an oath to defend from enemies foreign and domestic.



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