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Top Republican Voices Objection to Permanent Fence Around Capitol Building

( – There has been a certain sense of hysteria in political discourse since the violence at the Capitol Building on January 6. Some of this, perhaps, is justified; what occurred that day was frightening, and should never be allowed to happen again. However, a lot of the discussion has ventured away from the realm of common sense.

A Permanent Fence and Extra Security

For example, take the suggestion by US Capitol Police in recent days that a permanent fence should be constructed around the Capitol Building. Yogananda Pittman, the force’s acting chief, made this statement on Thursday, January 28. She also said extra back-up security was required at the complex. Pittman made these recommendations following a “physical security assessment” she directed staff to conduct after taking up her position; her predecessor resigned after the protest.

Objections to Pittman’s Proposal

This idea quickly met with disapproval from several politicians. One of the most prominent Conservatives to challenge Pittman’s idea was Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee. On Thursday, January 28, she released the tweet below, reminding followers that the Capitol Building was the “People’s House” and claiming members of Congress had received no threat briefing on the matter.

Stefanik was not the only party to express concern at the proposal. In addition, 10 of her Republican colleagues in the House joined in signing a letter to Secretary of the Army John Whitley seeking a briefing on the threat level assessment on the issue. 

Local voices have also spoken out against Pittman’s ideas. Mayor of Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser has said neither fencing nor additional troops would be welcomed in her city long-term. Residents of the Capitol Hill area have reportedly voiced objections as well.

Between COVID-19 and the continuing political unrest in America, our police forces have an unenviable job at the moment. It’s understandable that they would want to utilize every possible resource to make their jobs easier and help keep people safe. However, this move would restrict public access to one of America’s most important historic buildings; it’s possible the cure would be worse than the disease.

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