Rep. Jamie Raskin Gets Standing Ovation in Congress After Son's Death amid Chaos at Capitol
In a brief, but heartwarming moment ahead of chaos on Capitol Hill, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers gave a standing ovation for Rep. Jamie Raskin, whose son recently died.
"Madam Speaker, I want to thank you first, and all my dear beloved colleagues, for your love and tenderness, which my family and I will never forget,” Raskin, a Democratic representative from Maryland, said.
The roughly 20-second ovation gave brief pause to a heated debate between congressional lawmakers over the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump.
It also came less as Trump supporters rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol building, interrupting a joint session where members of Congress were expected to ratify the Electoral College vote and affirm Biden, 78, as the next president.
The congressional session entered into a recess, as the Capitol building went into lockdown in an unprecedented situation that remains ongoing with details still developing, including reports of shots fired.
Raskin, 58, previously announced on New Year’s Eve that his 25-year-old son Tommy had died.
A second-year Harvard law student, Raskin said in a statement that he and his wife Sarah were "devastated and demolished to be without him."
“Tommy was pure magic,” Raskin said in the announcement. “His brilliance and compassion knew no bounds. He passionately loved his family, friends, and animals, and was devoted to the cause of the global poor.”
Days later, the Maryland congressman released an emotional obituary for his son, whom he called “a radiant light in this broken world.”
“Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind,” Raskin wrote in the eulogy.
After the lawmaker received the symbolic bipartisan ovation, he spoke out against a group of loyal Trump lawmakers who, without evidence, objected the election results over his baseless claims the 2020 contest was “rigged” against him.
Raskin said lawmakers took an “oath to recognize the will of the people.”
“The 2020 election is over. The people have spoken. Biden is President,” he said.
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