Some Tennessee lawmakers on “pins and needles” this Inauguration Day

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 9:17 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It was an Inauguration Day unlike any members of Congress have seen, including some of the longest serving.

“This is not like any other inaugural I’ve been to and I’ve been to several. This is going to be one where you’re going to be on pins and needles,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).

It was a day of firsts, not all of them welcome says Cohen. The Democrat says a looming threat on Inauguration Day dampened what is usually a festive atmosphere. Because of the risk, Cohen wanted the event moved indoors to a more secure location, but it was not.

“This is like an occupied city. Policemen, guardsmen everywhere,” said Cohen.

Cohen did not bring a guest to the Biden-Harris inauguration. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) did not bring one either, but he did feel the need to attend unlike some of his Republican colleagues.

“I feel like I have a duty to be there,” said Burchett.

Burchett objected to the certification of the electoral votes two weeks ago when violence broke out in the Capitol. But he says he will accept Biden as his new president, and he says he looked forward to being on hand for the ceremony.

“Historic, you know, that’s part of it. It’s a uniquely American experience,” said Burchett.

Now the work has begun for President Joe Biden in the middle of deadly division and a deadly pandemic. At the top of the president’s to-do list is getting his cabinet nominees confirmed on Capitol Hill.

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