The 7-foot-tall black metal fencing, which served as a reminder of the horrors that occurred there on Jan. 6, will be removed by Senate lawmakers when they return from recess next week
According to a memo to the House offices, which was obtained by Daily Reuters, the Capitol Police Board, which oversees security on Capitol Hill has approved plans for the removal of temporary fencing around Capitol Hill beginning Friday.
“Based on USCP’s assessment of the threat environment and USCP’s enhanced coordination avec District of Columbia, neighboring states and federal law enforcement partner, the Board supports USCP’s recommendation to remove temporary fencing around Capitol Square,” stated a memo sent by House Sergeant of Arms William Walker to Congress and obtained by Daily Reuters.
“The USCP will continue to monitor intelligence and the threat environment. “The Architect of Capitol has the capability to and will expeditiously restore the temporary fencing should the conditions warrant,” the memo stated.
The House Sergeant of Arms noted that, despite the removal of the metal fencing, there are still restrictions on access to the building because of restrictions imposed when the coronavirus epidemic took place.
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The memo stated that “although the temporary fencing will be removed,” current building access restrictions would remain in effect.
Since Jan. 6, when security measures were dramatically increased in the wake of the brutal attack by a mob of Trump supporters, the Capitol has been surrounded with fencing
ioters then breached barricades and security checkpoints, forcing then-Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers to evacuate or shelter in place, temporarily disrupting the certification. Five people died during or after the riot, 140 police officers were injured and the Capitol building suffered approximately $1.5 million in damage.
Democratic D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton celebrated the announcement of the fencing coming down on Thursday, though with a hint of caution about how free the complex will be.
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“While I am seeking further information about the bike racks that will apparently be used to block access to parts of the Lower West Terrace and East Front of the Capitol, overall, the announcement is a victory for D.C. residents, local businesses and the American people,” she said.