Although President Donald Trump made headlines earlier this month for his decision to skip the swearing-in ceremony for his successor, one prominent Democratic lawmaker similarly opted not to attend.
According to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), she was not present for President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week because she was afraid of potential physical harm posed by some of her GOP colleagues.
“Very real security concerns”
Despite her far-left political beliefs, Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that she did not turn down an invite to the ceremony because of ideological differences with the incoming administration.
Instead of attending the inauguration, she joined union workers on strike in New York City.
CNN host Chris Cuomo asked her on Thursday about her decision, to which she replied: “I think we also had very real security concerns as we mentioned earlier. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.”
Clarifying that she was referring to not only herself but “a very considerable amount” of Democratic lawmakers, Ocasio-Cortez indicated that the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill resulted in heightened tensions among elected officials.
Cuomo pressed her on the issue, prompting her to emphatically state that she believes Republican colleagues might pose a security risk to Democrats. As an example, she referenced one GOP member who was caught by Capitol security attempting to bypass metal detectors to bring a concealed handgun into the chamber.
“He tried to bring in a gun”
“Yeah, well, one just tried to bring a gun on the floor of the House today,” she explained. “I believe it was Representative Andy Harris from Maryland. He tried to bring in a gun onto the House floor.”
The New York Democrat went on to assert that “guns are not allowed in the District of Columbia and certainly not the House floor,” citing “separate House rules that prohibit the bringing in of firearms.”
Business Insider clarified that, while the congresswoman is correct that guns are not permitted on the House floor, they are allowed inside the building — including on Capitol grounds and in members’ offices. The nation’s capital does have some of America’s strictest gun laws, but lawmakers can obtain a license to carry within the district’s borders.
The CNN host asked if his guest believed members were attempting to bring in guns to guard against another riot or because they saw “the enemy” as Democratic colleagues.
“So I don’t really care what they say their intentions are,” she replied. “I care what the impact of their actions are. And the impact is to put all 435 members of Congress in danger.”