Calls for 'permanent' fence around Capitol spark backlash

Temporary fencing was put up around the Capitol for 30 days as President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

Elie Cantin-Nantel Ottawa ON

The acting chief of the Capitol Police has proposed building permanent fencing around the US Capitol after a mob stormed it a few weeks ago. The move has been met with immediate blow back from both Republicans and Democrats.

Temporary fencing was put up around the Capitol for 30 days as President Joe Biden was inaugurated, but Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said that security experts had long said "more needed to be done to protect the US Capitol" and members of Congress.

"In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol" added Pittman.

The Washington Post highlighted reactions from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Such as Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who said in a tweet "This is the People's House. I am adamantly opposed. There has been no threat briefing given to Members of Congress to justify this proposal."

The idea was also condemned by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council member Charles Allen. "What we saw on the 6th was horrendous, but it also included so many failures of the US Capitol Police. To just build an unscalable perimeter fence and turn the people’s house into a fortress from the people is just wrong" said Allen.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tasked retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré to undergo a review of the Capitol's security installments. After meeting with him on Thursday, she said, "I salute the urgent, diligent and strategic work that he and his team continue to do in this mission, which is critical to protecting the Capitol and, indeed, our very Democracy."

More security, such as guarded troops, will likely be needed when the trial of 45th President Donald Trump gets underway. He was impeached a second time by the house for inciting the insurrection of the Capitol.


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