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McConnell says increased Capitol security is 'overdone,' reminds him of Kabul

McConnell says increased Capitol security is 'overdone,' reminds him of Kabul
© Greg Nash

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday lambasted increased security around the Capitol, calling it "overdone" and an overreaction.

"I think we've overdone it. ... There have been no serious threats against the Capitol. I think we're way overreacting to the current need," McConnell told reporters asked about the National Guard presence. 

"I'm extremely uncomfortable with the fact that my constituents can't come to the Capitol. With all this razor wire around the complex it reminds me of my last visit to Kabul," he added.

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McConnell's comments are the latest pushback from lawmakers as the security restrictions around the Capitol remain beefed up after the Jan. 6 attack.

The Pentagon announced this week that it was extending the presence of nearly 2,300 National Guardsmen at the Capitol through May 23. The deployment was initially expected to end this week.

That number is still roughly half of the 5,100 currently stationed at the Capitol.

Capitol Police confirmed last week that it had requested the extension but did not detail what threats warranted it. Capitol Police previously suggested they were concerned about security if President BidenJoe BidenSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote Shining a light on COINTELPRO's dangerous legacy MORE delivers a joint address, something for which he has not yet set a date.

McConnell acknowledged that there would likely need to be a change to security rules at the Capitol, but reiterated that he thought the current restrictions are too much. In addition to National Guardsmen, perimeter fencing remains up around the complex.

"I think we are continuing to overreact based on current threat levels to what is needed here at the Capitol. It looks terrible to have the beacon of our democracy surrounded by razorwire and National Guard troops," McConnell said.