Lawmakers will continue with their certification of the Electoral College vote count late Wednesday evening after the Capitol building was besieged by pro-Trump protesters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will come back into session once they have the all-clear to return to the chamber.
“We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night. The night may still be long but we are hopeful for a shorter agenda, but our purpose will be accomplished,” the California Democrat said. “I look forward to seeing you later this evening, during this time of great sadness.”
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, said they would begin again at 8 p.m., according to CNN.
Lawmakers were debating a challenge to Arizona’s Electoral College votes when protestors, many carrying Trump flags and apparel, broke past police lines, shattering windows, and forced their way into the building.
Mrs. Pelosi said Wednesday’s certification, typically a routine event for Congress, would be part of history, but now presents a “shameful picture of our country” to the rest of the world.
Multiple lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blamed the effort to challenge the Electoral College vote for the violence that completely derailed the process.
It’s unclear if those objecting to the certification, who planned to challenge multiple states, will continue with all of their plans.
One House member, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, has changed her position and will support certifying President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s victory.
“What happened today and continues to unfold in the nation’s capital is disgraceful and un-American. Thugs assaulted Capitol Police Officers, breached and defaced our Capitol Building, put people’s lives in danger, and disregarded the values we hold dear as Americans,” she said. “I have decided I will vote to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness.”
Law enforcement has secured the building, but crowds are still gathered outside the Capitol despite a city-wide curfew.