A group of 42 House Republicans has sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding the removal of “the militarized Capitol fencing” that authorities installed in the wake of a “horrific” riot on Jan. 6.
“It’s time to open the People’s House,” said North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd, who organized the letter.
Crews erected the fencing to boost security after the massive breach, which left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer who was wounded in the chaos, and ahead of Inauguration Day.
“The U.S. Capitol is a symbol of freedom both at home and abroad,” Budd wrote in the missive. “It is a place where Americans from all walks of life can visit, learn about, and witness U.S. history. Sadly, because of the fortress-like security in place, this is no longer the case.”
On a temporary basis, the fencing made sense, the Republican letter argues. But keeping it in place for too long, they said, looks wrong.
“Understandably, certain increased security measures following that date were implemented,” the letter reads. “But it is time for Congress and its representatives to stop hiding.”
Even Washington’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has rejected the idea of permanent fencing.
“We will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in D.C.,” she said last week.
In an op-ed on the issue that appeared on Townhall.com Wednesday, Budd argued that the fencing “is a tremendous symbolic stain on our country.”
“It is appalling that Communist China allows their citizens more freedom to visit historical sites like Tiananmen Square in their capital than currently exists for Americans who want to visit our Capitol in Washington, D.C.,” he wrote. “Americans face challenges head-on and overcome them. We don’t cower in fear. Our leaders need to lead. It’s the patriotic thing to do.”