Legislature sends a letter to Pelosi calling for the end of the fence on Capitol Hill and the deployment of the National Guard
A group of 42 lawmakers on Friday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking out against permanent military fences around the U.S. Capitol and asking that members of the National Guard come to Washington DC last month sent home. “We write with concern about the security measures and increased fencing around the US Capitol, even though high profile events like the inauguration are over,” wrote the group, led by Ted Budd (R., NC). “In particular, we are looking at recent reports that the Capitol fencing may be permanent.” Legislators write that they are “ready to have an honest debate on how to equip Capitol Hill Police with the resources they need to be better prepared without turning the Capitol into a permanent fortress” . “To this end, we urge you to remove the barbed wire fences around the Capitol and send the National Guard troops home to their families,” the letter added. “It’s time. It’s time to heal and it’s time to remove the fence so the nation can move forward.” Last month, 26,000 National Guard members were deployed to mark the inauguration following the January 6th riot in the US – Capitol, where a pro-Trump mob stormed the building while lawmakers met to confirm President Joe Biden’s victory on the electoral college. National Guard stationing in Washington, DC, has since been estimated at 480 It cost 5,000 to 7,000 soldiers in the district by mid-March. “The Capitol is a symbol of freedom and our representative government,” Budd said in a statement to the National Review. “That it will permanently be turned into a militarized zone is undermining our moral authority around the world. “He adds that a growing number of bipartisan lawmakers” believe it is time to see the Sta remove chel wire fences and send our National Guard troops home to their families instead of disrespectfully banishing them to parking garages “. Some National Guard units have involuntarily extended their missions, although most troops will remain in Washington voluntarily. Two officials familiar with the plan told Bloomberg that the operation would cost nearly half a billion dollars and said the Army could announce the number as early as Friday. Troops will remain in the district to protect the Capitol from so-called “impeachment security concerns,” including the potential for demonstrations during the Senate process, which Politico says is due to begin next week. Members of the guard told the point of sale that they had not been informed of a specific threat, although federal authorities are concerned about the possibility of ongoing unrest, particularly sparked by right-wing militia groups. There is also concern that a riot could break out on March 4th, the date some QAnon conspiracy theorists believe Trump will be inaugurated a second time. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman suggested installing a permanent fence around the Capitol building last week: “In light of recent events, I can clearly state that the physical security infrastructure needs significant improvements to include a permanent fence and the availability of standby fences to be included. Support staff in close proximity to the Capitol. “The Legislature Group argues that while” some security enhancement was necessary “following last month’s riots, there is” no valid reason to continue the same level of security measures “. “It is appalling that Communist China is giving its citizens more freedom to visit historic sites like Tiananmen Square than is currently the case for Americans who want to visit the Capitol in Washington, DC,” it said the letter. Representative Jody Hice (R., Ga.) Echoed this sentiment, saying that security around the Capitol must “be reconciled with and respect the fact that this is and always will be the People’s House”. “We simply cannot allow the Capitol Complex to be permanently turned into a fortress that is so restrictive and dismissive to the American public that only members of Congress and staff are allowed to enter,” he said in a statement to National Review. He also criticized the Democrats as “outrageously hypocritical” for being comfortable with permanent fences and walls to protect themselves, despite “vigorously protesting the same barriers along our southern border to protect the whole country”. “Unless there is a direct and imminent threat to the Capitol, militarized security must be de-escalated as soon as possible in order to return to normal,” he said.