WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States:
“For nearly a quarter of a millennium, American government of the people, by the people, for the people has endured. This lasting success was not pre-ordained; our fledgling experiment in self-government has had to contend with wars and diseases, economic depressions and internal divisions. Through it all, the flame of democracy was protected by generations of patriots, public servants, and everyday citizens who put the long-term health of the nation ahead of short-term personal gain. Now, it is our turn to do the same.
“Our nation is facing immense challenges. A pandemic that has already killed nearly 400,000 Americans, and still grows worse by the day. A foundering economy that is forcing too many Americans to make unimaginable choices. A divided nation, where a few conflict-seeking voices on the fringes seem to drown out the majority who long for compromise. In the middle of these crises and more, we cannot simply settle into business-as-usual.
“At this urgent juncture, I find myself turning to the words one of our nation’s greatest citizens. As President Abraham Lincoln worked to preserve the Union during its most delicate time, he urged Congress to rise to the moment, stating: ‘The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.’
“More than 150 years later, it’s impossible to summarize this moment in American history, or the proper response, any better than Lincoln did. It’s time to think anew, and act anew, because we cannot allow our usual petty squabbles to hinder our response to the threats we face. I believe that President Biden has the opportunity, the ability, and the character to unify our nation and make this government work for its people. Now, Congress must do its part, and come together on a bipartisan basis to improve the country we all love so dearly. As President Lincoln said: it’s time to rise with the occasion.”