Schumer says he will fire Senate sergeant-at-arms once Dems take control

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-N.Y.) says he plans on firing Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger when Democrats take control of the upper chamber later this month after pro-Trump rioters overran the Capitol on Wednesday.

“If Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Stenger hasn't vacated the position by then, I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate," Schumer, who is set to become the Senate majority leader, said in a Thursday statement to The Hill.

Schumer’s rebuke of Stenger comes as law enforcement and top security officials on Capitol Hill face an avalanche of scrutiny after rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday, interrupting a joint session of Congress that had met to certify the Electoral College results. Lawmakers were forced to flee the area and were not able to return for several hours.


Stenger’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Stenger, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund are among those facing the most pressure as lawmaker after lawmaker calls for staffing changes.

“[Y]esterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government. A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement Thursday. “Initial bipartisan discussions have already begun among committees of oversight and Congressional Leadership.”

Later Thursday, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) announced that Irving would step down and called on Sund to resign.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauroHouse adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban House clears .1 billion Capitol security bill, sending to Biden House passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight MORE (D-Conn.) and House Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee Chair Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Tim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections MORE (D-Ohio) announced an investigation into the riots Thursday. Ryan’s panel is in charge of directing funding to the Capitol Police.


Sund defended the Capitol Police response to Wednesday’s riots, saying the department had a “robust plan” in place ahead of the demonstrations.

“The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake — these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police,” he said in a statement Thursday.

Sund added that police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that killed one of the rioters and that the probe will also cover “security planning and policies and procedures.”

Still, Wednesday’s chaos set off a wave of recriminations among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who said they were shocked that they felt unsafe in a building that had previously been viewed as nearly impenetrable.

"There are actual people — like we are people, we are lawmakers. We have been told that when we are here on these grounds that we are safe," Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said Wednesday.

Updated at 3:14 p.m.