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COLUMN: A sickening week in Washington

COLUMN: A sickening week in Washington

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It’s been an unprecedented week in our nation’s capital. Let me first say I am sickened and heartbroken by what unfolded at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon. The violence, vandalism, and loss of American lives – including a U.S. Capitol Police Officer – are shocking and go against everything we stand for as a people and a nation. I condemn this violence and anyone on the right or the left who resorts to violence to achieve a political end.

This nation was founded on the principle that all men and women are created equal and endowed with certain rights by our Creator. I have often said, I may have sharp disagreements with someone from another party on any given issue. But, at the end of the day, we are both Americans. And the values and heritage we share are greater than the political differences of the day. As we come to grips with what transpired, we must find a way to move forward.

I pray we will work together to make sure the thugs who stormed the Capitol are prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that we do what is necessary so this never happens again. I also believe we cannot move forward if we choose to assign blame to extract political points or accept the violence we witnessed this summer in cities across the nation and this week in the Capitol as the new normal for resolving our differences. We must pledge to come together, condemn violence of any kind, and heal this nation.

I received many messages from constituents, friends and family on Wednesday which meant so much to me. One message I received was from a constituent in Fayetteville. After checking on my safety, she told me she was in tears- totally devastated by the violence in the Capitol. She said her husband gave his life fighting for this country to protect our citizens from this kind of violence and lawlessness.

We owe it to her husband and all those incredible patriots who put on the uniform of this nation and made the ultimate sacrifice to do better. To be better. We must work together in a way that honors their sacrifice and brings this nation together.

This does not mean I will shrink from the hard work, from vigorously representing the interests of my constituents, or from passionately defending our shared values.

One of those values is respect for the rule of law. For the same reason I condemn the actions of the mob, it was also my duty to object to certifying the Electoral College votes of certain states that violated their own election laws, contrary to Article II of the Constitution. I believe these issues deserved a serious debate in the House and the Senate, just as Democrats did following the 2004 and 2016 presidential elections. In fact, now Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during the debate in 2005 that the objections then were “democracy at work” and “fundamental to our democracy.” I agree. These issues are more important than one party, one candidate or one election outcome. While I knew my objection would not be successful, it was my hope that through open debate, we could raise these legitimate concerns and identify common sense solutions to safeguard our election integrity.

While this process was eventually able to be completed, the point I hoped to make was overshadowed by the inexcusable and un-American violence and division we witnessed on Wednesday.

As we begin this new year and new Congress, I will recommit myself to something that has always been a priority for me and a hallmark of my time in Congress. Namely, to work across the aisle; to view my political opponent as someone who equally loves our country. I pledge to continue to put the long-term interests of our nation ahead of any short-term political interest. I also pledge to continue to be guided by the simple appeal in Psalm 16:1, “Preserve me O Lord, for in thee do I put my trust."

As your representative, I look forward to all we can accomplish this year and am so honored and humbled to continue serving our community in this new Congress. I am also proud to now represent a majority of Lee and Harnett Counties. For those of you new to the 8th District, I welcome you to visit my website at Hudson.house.gov or call my office at 202-225-3715. My office will always be open to you to help with a federal agency, answer questions or simply hear your concerns.

I am confident we can move forward and bring our country together. Like President Reagan, I always believe our best days lie ahead of us. And working together, we can ensure America will always be that shinning city on a hill and the last great hope for mankind.

Richard Hudson represents North Carolina's 8th District, which includes Cabarrus and other counties.

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