It took well over two months, but the fencing around the U.S. Capitol—fencing that has circled the Capitol and “cut off the entire area to pedestrian and vehicular traffic” since the day after mobs stormed the building on January 6—is finally being scaled back.
This past Saturday (March 20), workers were seen scaling back the fencing surrounding the Capitol, WUSA9 reported. “This inner perimeter will be moved closer to the Capitol building this week, providing reopened access to nearby streets and some sidewalks,” the outlet reported.
Razor wire attachments atop the fencing will also be removed, officials are saying.
In an email sent last week to members and staff, Timothy P. Blodgett, acting House Sergeant-at-Arms, said that by today (March 22), Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue “will be open for traffic,” Roll Call reported.
The inner layer of fencing, however, will stay as it is around the Capitol Square area “while the Architect of the Capitol makes security repairs” to the building.
The Capitol Police informed him, said Blodgett, that “there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.”
In terms of National Guard troop presence—which became controversial when members of the Guard were booted out to cold garage floors for their breaks after the Biden inauguration—the Guard will be drawing down troop totals from around 5,000 to 2,280.
That is the number of personnel currently authorized through May 23, Roll Call also reported.
The National Guard, Blodgett said, “will continue to maintain a presence to support our increased security posture although their presence has been modified to support a reduced perimeter.”
Blodgett also said that the Capitol Police will “continue to monitor the threat posture, [and] should a change occur, plans will be reevaluated.”
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—By CNJ Staff