After spending days in the cold securing the United States Capitol afterCitizens of the National Guard were asked to leave the Capitol building and move to a nearby parking garage to rest during their shift. The decision quickly led to condemnation from lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called the move “scandalous.”
Several pressed for it to be reversed.
And it was late Thursday night.
The guard issued a statement saying: “Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, commander of the inauguration task force, confirms that troops are out of the garage and back in the Capitol building as approved by the USCP (US Capitol Police) Watch Commander and the troops will take their breaks near Emancipation Hall in the future. ”
One of the lawmakers who had expressed outrage, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D – Illinois), tweeted: “Update: Troops are now all out of the garage. Now I can go to bed.”
Around On Thursday, the Capitol Police asked the National Guard to relocate the soldiers who used the Capitol corridors and open space to rest during their shifts, National Guard Bureau spokesman Major Matt Murphy told CBS News.
“As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is taking place, the Capitol Police asked the troops to relocate their rest area,” Murphy said. “They were temporarily moved to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heating and toilet facilities.”
About 3,500 national guards were moved out of the Capitol, but not all were in the parking garage at the same time. During their guard duty, members take turns entering the garage to warm up and take a break, and the guards return to a hotel once their shift is over.
Some guards have expressed dissatisfaction with being moved to a parking garage. While the garage has heat and light, there are limited restrooms, cell phone and internet service and electrical outlets.
Politico first reported on the move, and lawmakers struck out.
“This is outrageous, shameful, and incredibly disrespectful to men and women who keep the U.S. Capitol safe,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona). “We need it resolved, and we need answers on how it happened.”
South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott also took to Twitter:
Duckworth called it “unreal” and added that she could not “believe that the same brave servants we have been asking to protect our Capitol and our Constitution for the past two weeks will be ordered to leave the building…. can use my office. ”
Murphy told CBS News, “They had to go somewhere, that’s my understanding. There will always be some ragged feathers, some people will not like. The troops continue. They are still doing their mission, and that’s what they are. do. “
The Capitol Police said in a statement earlier Thursday night that the department “greatly appreciates the integrated support of the U.S. National Guard to help secure the Capitol Complex leading up to and including the inaugural ceremony.”
The department said it has recently requested that shift shifts be shortened to provide more off-campus rest time.