State Watch

Bowser says DC ‘will not accept’ permanent fencing around Capitol

Bonnie Cash

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said the city government “would not accept” permanent fencing around the U.S. Capitol in a tweet issued Thursday afternoon.

“Based on conversations with federal partners, there are some potentially volatile events upcoming that will require extra security. Fencing and the presence of troops will be a part of that,” Bowser tweeted, referencing former President Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial.

“But we will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in DC.”

“When the time is right, the fencing around the White House and U.S. Capitol, just like the plywood we’ve seen on our businesses for too long, will be taken down,” she added.

Bowser said the city would work with the District’s Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) to ensure the Capitol remains open to the public and stop “any proposed security installations from intruding into our local neighborhoods.”

Bowser’s statement on the social media platform comes just hours after acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman called for fencing to be made permanent around the Capitol to prevent further violence following the deadly attack Jan. 6. 

Earlier in the month, a group of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and breached security, running through hallways, breaking windows and vandalizing lawmakers’ offices. Eventually, lawmakers, press and staff were forced to evacuate both the House and Senate floor to undisclosed locations amid the violence. 

Following the riots, more than 20,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to the nation’s capital in preparation for President Biden’s inauguration and fences were placed around the Capitol building where the public ceremony took place. Since then, the presence of National Guardsmen has been drawn down, though some forces remain. 

Security in the area will continue to remain high in preparation for Trump’s second impeachment trial which is set to begin next month. Trump was impeached by the House in January for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riots. 

Bowser’s authority to overrule Pittman on the fencing is unclear, as the city government does not have oversight over the Capitol Police.

The Hill has reached out to the Capitol Police for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Eleanor Holmes Norton Muriel Bowser Washington DC
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