AURORA | Congressman Jason Crow is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers requesting more resources to help people on Capitol Hill cope in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The letter to the Office of Employee Assistance — signed by Crow, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), French Hill (R-AR), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) — notes the emotional trauma many in the Capitol experienced that day.
Crow was sitting in the House gallery when rioters breached the building.
“I haven’t felt that way in 15 years,” he told the Sentinel two days after the attack. “When I was doing that work (in the military) it was my job. I wasn’t mentally and emotionally ready to be put in that position as a member of Congress in the U.S. Capitol in 2021.”
Crow said during the insurrection, while he was in House chamber, he grabbed a pen for self-defense and helped other members move away from doors.
Later during a livestream Ocasio-Cortez said she feared for her life during the riot, but couldn’t divulge too many details for security reasons.
The group of lawmakers want the employee assistance office, which services members of Congress, Capitol police, employees and their family members, to expand services to all Capitol personnel who may have been affected by the attack.
They’re hoping those services be extended to others who were there that day.
“In the aftermath of this attack, there were harrowing reports of what Members, staff, and law enforcement experienced on that day. Members in the House and Senate chambers heard gunfire and feared for their safety. U.S. Capitol Police officers were physically assaulted and endured verbal abuse, and we sadly lost two U.S. Capitol Police officers, Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, in the days after the attack,” the letter says.
“Capitol staff barricaded their offices with furniture, and journalists were assaulted while covering the events. Rioters brandished Confederate flags, clothing with anti-Semitic messages, and other hateful symbols in the halls of the Capitol building, erected gallows on the Capitol campus, and carried zip ties and firearms. Pipe bombs and other deadly weapons were also discovered in the vicinity of the Capitol. Custodial and support staff endured this attack and still had to complete their work, cleaning and repairing the damage just hours later.”
The Justice Department has changed more than 150 people in connection with the insurrection, according to NPR.
Crow previously told the Sentinel holding those responsible for the attack accountable is critical, including former President Donald Trump, who faces a second impeachment trial, and members of Congress who have parroted lies about voter fraud that incited the attack.