Rep. Dan Kildee Reflects on Congress in the Year Since January 6

The anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol is coming up next week. Rep. Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat who has grappled with post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of that day, spoke with The Dispatch on the phone about how he has approached the job in the past year, how his relationships with Republicans have evolved, and more.

The transcript of the interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Haley: You were in the House chamber when the Capitol was breached. A year later, what memories of those events are most prominent in your mind?

Rep. Kildee: A couple of things. One, just the events as they unfolded, it still strikes me how much disbelief I was in—how little I could rationalize what was going on at the time. I just could not believe that this was happening. I think there are a couple of moments that stick with me that were particularly difficult. I was one of the members trapped in the gallery. After the Capitol was evacuated, there were some of the Capitol press corps and a handful of members that were left behind because we were in the gallery, and there was no way up and no way down. So we were kind of stuck. And I remember feeling like they were about to break in and the gunshot going off when one of our officers shot and killed Ashli Babbitt as they were trying to breach the speaker’s lobby. And I got on the phone soon thereafter to call my wife. The moment that sticks with me more than any was, as soon as she answered the phone and I heard her voice, I realized that it felt like I was making what you’d call that call. You know, the call that you hear about people in a building that’s about to go down or a plane or whatever. It was that kind of a sensation that I know a number of us had that we didn’t know if we were going to get out of this thing. And I called my wife to have her call my mom and call my kids and tell them I was okay, at least for the time being. So that sticks with me. 

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