Should Congress construct a fence around the U.S. Capitol building?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill directs the Architect of the Capitol to install permanent fencing around the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol, taking into account specified factors relating to safety, security, access, and overall design. The fencing must be installed by January 1, 2023. On January 7, 2021, in response to the previous day's events, razor wire fencing was erected to secure the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol; the fencing is to remain in place for 30 days, with possible extensions. Sponsor: Rep. Ritchie Torres (Democrat, Washington, District 9) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

• "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." Source: Muriel Bowser (Mayor of Washington, D.C.)
• "More needs to be done to protect the Capitol complex, but the failure of Capitol security leaders to plan for the predictable terrorist attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, does not justify closing the complex from the public, to whom it belongs." Source: Rep. Eleanor Norton (Democrat, District of Columbia)
• "This is the People's House. I am adamantly opposed. There has been no threat briefing given to Members of Congress to justify this proposal." Source: Rep.Elise Stefanik (Republican, New York, District 21)

Proponents say

• "I never thought, as a newly sworn-in member, that I would live through a violent insurrection against the Capitol. Compared to the White House, which has long been heavily guarded and enclosed, the security of the Capitol has long been an afterthought for federal law enforcement. Congress is a co-equal branch of government. And we should strive to make the Capitol every bit as secure as the White House itself." Source: Rep. Ritchie Torres (Democrat, Washington, District 9)
• "Exploring methods to enhance the security of the Capitol complex, the Members and their staff as well as the millions of annual visitors is responsible leadership." Source: Terry Gainera (Former Senate Sergeant at Arms)
• "In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol." Source: Yoganda Pitman (Acting Chief of US Capitol Police)