In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the councilmembers said a “hardened security perimeter,” with fencing and razor wire, was the “wrong solution.” The security fencing has created logistical problems within the city, impacted local legislative operations and limited public access to the Capitol complex, they added.
“We offer our full support and partnership to both investigate the deficiencies that led to the failures on January 6 and implement any changes in command or planning needed to ensure those events will never be repeated,” the councilmembers said in the letter obtained by Fox 5 DC. “But permanent fencing, blocked streets, or diminished public access is not the way to secure the Capitol.”
The city council expressed support for Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C, who introduced legislation earlier this month that would block Capitol authorities from installing a permanent fence around the area. Norton likened the concept to “security theater based on 19th-century ideas” and, like the local lawmakers, argued it would limit public access.
Authorities stepped up efforts to secure the Capitol after pro-Trump protestors stormed the building in an unprecedented security breach. Lawmakers were forced to flee the building as they met to confirm President Biden’s election victory.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman had called for permanent fencing and other enhanced measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. This week, Congress held the first hearing in a bid to determine what went wrong with existing security protocols on Jan. 6.