U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos says she's confident President Joe Biden will fulfill his promise of unifying the country in the days and weeks ahead.
Bustos, a Moline Democrat, said she believes the Biden's inauguration marks a new, more hopeful day for America.
"President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, have now joined the ranks of those who have served at its highest levels. It's a celebratory moment. It's one that will be marked in our history books. And it's one that we gotta acknowledge that today's celebration follows one in American history that future generations will look back on in dismay," said Bustos, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, its resulting economic fallout, and two impeachment trials in the House.
Bustos said the incoming administration's top priority is getting its arms around the coronavirus pandemic that already has taken more than 400,000 lives and infected more than 25 million people in the United States.
Bustos said the tenor of Biden's inaugural address focused around unity was an entirely different message than the themes of "American carnage" that former President Trump extolled four years ago.
"The last two weeks of President Trump's time in office...these were really, really terrible days," she said. "My own personal feeling is we're going to put this behind us. There's so much hope, so much optimism."
She said her hope is the new administration restores a more civil political dialogue in the United States, and leaves the days of divisive partisanship behind.
Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, also attended the inauguration ceremony.
"Our nation faces many unprecedented challenges in the months ahead as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and work to rebuild our communities in the wake of this virus. In Congress, I will work hard to try to find common ground with the Biden Administration on areas that will benefit the constituents of the 18th Congressional District of Illinois," he said in a statement.
LaHood supported President Donald Trump's legal challenges to the 2020 election results, but voted to certify the Electoral College on Jan. 6.
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