Newly sworn in U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, said was reached by phone in a secure location. Pfluger represents District 11, which includes Odessa.
He had been in the Capitol all day Wednesday and said members of his team from Odessa and Midland were currently safe.
“We are safe and in a secure location. We’re just absolutely, completely disappointed with the way this is happening, going down,” Pfluger said.
“We had just started the proceedings and the Capitol is in lockdown right now, so absolutely condemn the violence. This has gone well beyond our first amendment rights to peaceably assemble. That’s not who we are. That’s not the kind of country we are. We were here today to debate to protect, support, defend the Constitution and the Constitution is very clear on this one,” he said.
He added that they saw this throughout the summer with Antifa and racial justice protests. Pfluger said he condemned them then and is condemning them now.
“… Breaching the Capitol is not the way to have your voice heard while we’re trying to do get our message across in a constitutionally protected way,” he said.
He didn’t know as of about 3 p.m. Wednesday how long the siege would last.
“… But we’re urging everyone to peacefully disperse, continue to have your voice heard but now we need to reduce the tensions and still have our voices heard. But this kind of violence is absolutely unacceptable,” Pfluger said.
He added that he was evacuated prior to any gunfire or people having guns pointed at them.
Pfluger acknowledged that this was not exactly what he was expecting for his first week in Congress.
“The point is, I take it back to the Constitution we have a right to uphold the Constitution not just part of it; all of it. We’ve gone beyond that,” he said.
“I will say that most people here are peaceful … but there were those here that took it a step too far. (I’m) urging everyone to disperse from the Capitol. Let’s have our voices heard in a way that the first amendment protects,” Pfluger said.
He added that there is law enforcement “everywhere.”
“The Capitol police have done a phenomenal job of keeping everyone safe. We have team members from Midland and Odessa. They are all safe, so everyone is currently safe but the Capitol is still locked down at this point in time,” Pfluger said.