DC delegate blasts Capitol fencing: ‘No reason’ to keep people away

03/19/21

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who represents Washington, D.C., in Congress, hailed an announcement this week that fencing surrounding the Capitol complex will be scaled back.

Norton, who introduced a bill last month to ban permanent fencing around the building, said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the security measure implemented after the Jan. 6 riot has “more than closed off the front of the Capitol.”

“It essentially has closed off part of the city,” she said.

Norton lamented how the Capitol has been “closed off” to the public for months.

“If you try to get in the Capitol today, you would not get in, only members of Congress can get in,” she said.

“This is a favorite visiting spot for the American people,” Norton explained. “There’s no reason that they cannot visit their own Capitol now.”

She argued that Congress appeared “afraid of its own shadow” by adjourning early over threats of violence that never materialized earlier this month, as thousands of National Guard troops stood on guard in the Capitol area.

“By standing our ground, I think we would have told people that we were ready for them, and with all that fencing, of course we were ready for them, so there was no reason to adjourn,” she argued. “And it made the United States of America look weak, that it couldn’t stand its ground and protect its Capitol.” 

Watch part of Norton’s interview above.

Featured clips