The Capitol fence returns for the State of the Union address
The US Capitol Police and Secret Service have reinstalled the security fence around the Capitol Building in advance of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, annoying DC’s Democratic rep but delighting some conservatives.
‘The fence is not only threatening to DC residents, it poses huge inconveniences,’ DC Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton told DailyMail.com Monday, explaining that even the fire department and ambulances are impacted by the more restrictive traffic patterns.
She added that she agreed with those who saw the fence as a sad reminder of the events of January 6 – as the same fencing was installed outside the Capitol Building after the MAGA attack and remained in place for six months.
‘It certainly does,’ Norton said. ‘And we want to get as far from January 6 as we can.’
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene both cheered the move and used it as a political attack against President Joe Biden.
On Sunday, workers were spotted installing the fence around the US Capitol complex ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address
The fence was erected around the US Capitol Building after the three-member Capitol Police Board voted to approve it in a 2-1 vote.
DC’s non-voting Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton told DailyMail.com she thought the fence was ‘threatening’ to DC residents and was a sad reminder of January 6, 2021
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene both cheered the move and used it a a political attack against President Joe Biden
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert cracked a joke about Biden when she saw the fencing going back up
‘The fence is back up around the Capitol for SOTU because Biden knows walls work on the ground,’ Greene tweeted Monday, again showing her support for former President Donald Trump’s southern border wall.
‘Joe Biden is more afraid of Americans visiting their Capitol than a Chinese Spy Balloon invading our air space that could have carried God only knows what,’ the Georgia Republican added.
Biden has been under fire from Republicans in recent days for waiting to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon while it flew over land. The balloon was popped by an F-22 fighter jet armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile on Saturday once it got over the South Carolina coastline.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert cracked a joke about Biden when she saw the fencing going back up.
‘They’ve reinstalled the fence around the Capitol. With no reports of increased threats, I can only assume it’s to ensure Biden doesn’t wander off after the SOTU,’ the Colorado Republican tweeted Monday.
The fence was reinstalled around the Capitol Building for the State of the Union to address due to the increase in threats against public officials in recent years.
A statement from the US Capitol Police said that the fence was reassembled ‘out of an abundance of caution’ and would only be surrounding the Capitol ‘temporarily.’
The US Capitol Building is seen with fencing erected around it for this year’s State of the Union address, which takes place Tuesday night
Workers install a panel of fencing on Sunday, ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address
Workers reinstall the fence that surrounded the Capitol Building for six months after the January 6 MAGA attack
Norton said she received assurances that it would be taken down Wednesday, immediately following Biden’s address.
‘They indicate that it will come down the next day,’ she told DailyMail.com.
She said she didn’t speak to the Secret Service and Capitol Police in advance of the State of the Union because there are ‘very rare occasions,’ she noted, ‘fencing may need to be used.’
‘And I’d be the first to concede that the State of the Union address is one of them,’ she said.
Still, she plans to send out a press release Monday to address the fencing.
Bill Press, the liberal political commentator who now hosts the Bill Press Pod podcast, is a longtime resident of Capitol Hill and told DailyMail.com he was ‘outraged’ to see the fence erected again.
‘As long as Donald Trump’s in Mar-a-Lago the Capitol’s safe,’ he said. ‘Capitol Police have it backwards. They failed to protect the Capitol on January 6 when they should have. Now they’re putting up a fence when there’s no need to.
Norton, Press and other Capitol Hill residents offended by the fencing had an ally in Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s acting Sergeant At Arms William McFarland, with Politico reporting Monday that he had voted against reinstalling the fence.
In a Capitol Police Board vote last week, McFarland was the lone no vote on the three-member panel, which consists of the House and Senate sergeants at arms and the Architect of the Capitol.
A source familiar told Politico that McFarland voted no because there was “no actionable intelligence to necessitate putting up a fence.”
Prior to January 6, 2021, a security barricade wasn’t erected around the Capitol Building for State of the Union addresses.