A fatal breach can delay the parliamentary fencing decision

Washington (AP) — A recent fatal breach of the parliamentary border has led to a gradual reopening of the building’s grounds to the general public, as lawmakers sought to return to the next more normal security measure. It may be delayed. January 6 Riot..

Parliament police officer William “Billy” Evans, 18-year veteran of the ForceWhen killed on friday The man thrust his car into the barrier Outside the Senate side of the building. The driver, identified as 25-year-old Noah Green, was shot dead by a gun after hitting a car against Evans and another police officer, then went outside and rushed into the police with a knife.

Less than two weeks after the Capitol Police removed the outer fence, which temporarily blocked a large area of ​​the area from cars and pedestrians, and blocked the major communicating arteries across the city. It happened to me. On January 6, a fence was erected to secure the Capitol after a violent mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the building and blocked the proof of President Joe Biden’s victory. Violence leads to the deaths of five people, including police officers in the Capitol.

Police, blamed for the assault that day, are struggling to find the best way to protect the building and the people working inside it, so leave the second ring of fence around the inner circumference of the Capitol. I left it. Its tall, dark fence, which until recently was covered with razor wire, is a clear symbol of the horror felt by many in the Capitol after the mob was besieged two months ago. ..

Parliamentarians almost universally dislike fencing, saying that the American democratic seat is intended to be open to the public, even if threats always exist.

However, some have said that after the attack on Friday, we need to be cautious.

“It’s annoying, it’s terrible,” Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan said of fencing. “No one wants it there. But the question is, is the environment safe enough to be able to demolish it. In the meantime, how many of these things the fence is It may be possible to prevent this from happening. “

Ryan, chairman of the Housing Expenditure Commission, which oversees security and the Houses of Parliament, emphasized that no decision had been made and that lawmakers would “consider everything” after a recent fatal incident. His committee and other committees are not only on fences, but also on parliamentary police staffing, structure, and intelligence capabilities.

“The scab was stripped again here today,” Ryan said. “So we need to understand this.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. Evans’s death “only increased the need for a comprehensive approach to the security of the Capitol” after the January breach, he said in a statement on Saturday. The Senate Committee has been investigating what changes need to be made.

Despite fencing, Friday’s breach occurred within the boundaries. The driver slipped through an open gate to allow traffic to and from the Capitol and plunged into the barrier that protected the building long before January 6. And there was no evidence that Green’s actions were somehow related to the riots.

Still, political tensions, especially since the riots, and widespread public surveillance of security failures that day reminded us that one of the country’s most visible public buildings has always been the target.

Another member of the spending committee that oversees the legislature, Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton, said: ..

As a representative of the suburbs of Washington, Wexton said he wanted to see the Capitol open to visitors again. The interior of the building was not open to the public last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the squares, roads and sidewalks surrounding the Capitol were blocked only after the riots, keeping the general public completely away from the area. I did.

“I hope it goes down as soon as possible,” Wexton said of fencing.

Parliamentarians initially supported the fence to secure the area, and thousands of National Guards were sent to the Houses of Parliament to assist the overwhelmed police, but soon ready for a drawdown. I said there is.

“I think we’ve done that too much,” said Kentucky Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell last month. “It seems terrible that our democracy sign is surrounded by razor wires and the National Guard.”

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, a top Republican member of the Senate Rule Administration Committee, said fencing should be withdrawn because the next security issue is “very unlikely to be a carbon copy of the last issue.” Said. Florida Republican Carlos Guimenez told Fox News that he believes Democrats are maintaining the fence for “political reasons.”

However, fence hatred is a rare issue that both parties can agree on.

“It’s just terrible. It’s embarrassing,” said Senator Dick Durbin, Senator of Illinois. “If there is a better way to protect us, I would love to see it. I want to work to get it.”

However, security officials say the Capitol cannot return to its status quo.

In February, Yogananda Pittman, deputy police chief of the Capitol, told lawmakers that “the security infrastructure of the Capitol needs to be changed.”

A Security review Requested by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) in the aftermath of the riots, implemented by the Task Force, and eventually replacing the barrier with mobile fencing and an “integrated retractable fencing system” that can be used as needed. I recommended that. However, it is unclear whether such an expensive proposal can be approved by Congress.

Ryan said his committee has been conducting extensive investigations and recently called Israeli security officials to learn how to keep the government safe.

“We need to understand what a security sweetspot is,” he said.


AP Parliament correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.


The story has been modified to reflect that Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is a second-ranked Democrat, not a Republican.