Media Contacts: Danielle Brian, Executive Director at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), [email protected]; or Caitlin MacNeal, Communications Director at POGO, [email protected]
(WASHINGTON)—A year after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, we remember the lives lost, both that day and afterward, as a result of violence perpetrated by a mob of insurrectionists. We cannot forget the incredible toll this anniversary will take on survivors and the victims’ families.
We also sadly cannot yet put the attack in the rearview mirror, as we still face the ripple effects of the near-deadly blow to our democracy. The January 6, 2021, insurrection was part of a larger, ongoing threat to our republic. In the wake of the insurrection, too many leaders in our federal and state governments continue to spread lies about election fraud in the 2020 election. Several states have passed or proposed legislation that would make it harder to vote and give partisan officials greater involvement in the election process.
A recent poll found that about a third of Americans believe that violence against the government is sometimes justified, a marked increase from previous surveys. Another poll found that about 21 million Americans likely sympathize with the violent insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol a year ago. These are disturbing numbers, and they reflect the tenuous state of our democracy.
The anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack serves as a harsh reminder that we must remain vigilant in efforts to fortify our democracy. Congress must enact meaningful voting rights reform to ensure our country holds free and fair elections. Lawmakers must pass pro-democracy reforms, like those in the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to provide a check on unrestrained presidential power and increase accountability in the federal government. Only with comprehensive reform aimed at protecting our elections and system of checks and balances can our democracy overcome this assault.
Congress and the Justice Department must also continue to hold accountable those who incited and carried out the insurrection. It’s crucial that the individuals involved face consequences for their actions and that the American people gain a clear picture of what took place that day.
“I’m deeply saddened thinking about the lives lost as a result of the January 6 insurrection, and I’m dismayed that, following this deadly, polarizing attack, our government has failed to pass reforms necessary to repair our cracked democracy,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight. “Our country and our government face an incredibly troubling challenge from anti-democratic extremists willing to do anything to hold onto political power. We cannot let this challenge overwhelm us. We must doggedly pursue reform that will ensure free and fair elections and an accountable federal government.”