Following the deadly insurrection on the US Capitol in January, fences were put up around the building for added security. Now, officials are planning to start taking some of the fencing down since there is no “known, credible threat against Congress.”
According to a report by The Huffington Post, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, Timothy Blodgett, said in a security memo Monday (March 15) authorities are working with the Capitol architect to move one of the rings of fencing closer to the building and take down razor wire on top. Blodgett also said the outer ring of fencing will come down completely later in March.
Since the attack, fences towering at seven feet have surrounded the Capitol, which lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have contested. Additional security measures have also been in place, like mandatory metal detection, have been imposed following the riot.
“As the US Capitol Police continues to build its personnel capacity, there is no doubt that some level of support from the National Guard should remain in the National Capital Region to respond to credible threats against the Capitol,” Reps. Mike Rogers and Adam Smith wrote in a joint statement earlier this month. “However, the present security posture is not warranted at this time,” the statement also reads. Both Rogers and Smith sit on the House Armed Services Committee.
The move comes following Sen. Ron Johnson’s admission that the white supremacist groups who carried out the attack in an attempt to throw off election results didn’t make him feel unsafe. The lawmaker instead said he “might have” felt differently had the rioters been members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that law enforcement would still be assessing threats made against Congress, adding that safety measures “will be adjusted if and as needed.” Pelosi also advocated for a continuation of the investigation into what specifically led to the January 6 attack.
Officials have held several hearings so far, including getting testimony from Capitol Police officers who were there during the attack.
“We must get to the truth of how the January 6 assault happened, and we must ensure that it cannot happen again,” the Speaker said. “It is essential that we proceed in a bipartisan way in order to have a respected outcome.”
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