Capitol Police to reinstall fence for State of the Union address
The fence around the Capitol building will go back up for President Biden’s State of the Union address this week.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger announced on Sunday that an inner-perimeter fence will be installed around the Capitol for Tuesday’s address.
He said the decision to resurrect the fence was made “Out of an abundance of caution, and in conjunction with the United States Secret Service.”
“Our Department’s mission to protect the United States Congress, the Capitol, and the legislative process remains unwavering,” Manger said in a statement. “In light of the upcoming State of the Union Address, and the possibility of demonstrations in the next couple of weeks, we have been working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners on a security plan to prevent any disruption to the important work of Congress.”
Authorities are beefing up security amid reports of disruptive truck convoys potentially arriving in Washington. Truckers recently closed off parts of Ottawa for weeks to demonstrate against COVID-19 mandates, a protest that resonated within conservative circles in the U.S.
Capitol Police announced earlier this month that agencies were “aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union” and were planning for extra security. The agency said at the time that resurrecting the fence around the Capitol building remained an option, but emphasized that a decision had not been made.
On Wednesday, the National Guard announced that as many as 700 members will be available to help local D.C. authorities manage demonstrations through March 7.
A number of roads in the nation’s capital will be closed for Tuesday’s address, according to Capitol Police, who noted the closures were the same as past years and “not related to the potential truck and vehicle convoys.”
Fencing surrounded the Capitol building after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, and was reinstalled before the September rally supporting individuals charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
Biden is set to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. White House adviser Cedric Richmond said the speech will lay out the president’s plans for 2022 while outlining the challenges the administration met in its first year.