National Guard Mission Ends on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON- Five months after being deployed to the U.S. Capitol to help fend off rioters during the Jan. 6 siege by violent supporters of former President Donald Trump, National Guard troops have packed up and are heading home.
The guard’s mission formally ended Sunday, and nearly all of the 2,149 troops were expected to have left Capitol Hill by late Monday afternoon. They are turning over security of the area to the U.S. Capitol Police.
“The National Guard are American heroes and defenders of democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a written statement. “Their presence in our temple of democracy following January 6th, one of the most harrowing and horrific days in our history, has brought security, safety and healing to the Congress and indeed the country. The United States Congress is profoundly grateful for their selfless service.”
Speaking on the Senate floor on Monday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “Aspects of the Guard’s presence here were not fleshed out as clearly or coherently as either Congress or servicemembers deserved. And members of Congress will continue to discuss and debate whether it is appropriate for uniformed military personnel to play an ongoing role in policing the United States Capitol going forward.
“But where Senators are absolutely, 100% united is in our great admiration and appreciation of the individual men and women who have volunteered to serve in the National Guard, who’ve put on the uniform, and whose orders brought them here to the Capitol complex,” he said.
McConnell noted that he had gotten to meet and talk with several groups of the men and women of the Kentucky National Guard during this time.
“Thank you all, from all 50 states, for your patriotism and service,” he said.
The Guard also got a thank you from President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
“We want to offer our deepest thanks and enduring gratitude to the women and men of our National Guard for their service to keep the U.S. Capitol Building secure over the past nearly five months,” the president and first lady said in a joint statement. “Since the insurrection on January 6, thousands of proud service members, from states and territories all across our Union, have stood watch over the citadel of our democracy. As they return now to their homes and families, we salute each of them for their commitment to country.
“When duty calls, our National Guard members put their lives on hold to stand as a shield and a support when their country is in need. We’ve asked so much of our Guard over the past year, not only defending our Capitol, but supporting our fight against COVID-19, responding to storm damage and wildfires, and deploying internationally to support peacekeeping missions,” the Biden’s said, adding, “The Biden family is a National Guard family, and we are forever grateful and in awe of those who, like our son Beau, understand that duty and service to others is what makes us who we are as Americans. To all the National Guard members and their families who sacrifice so much for our country, like all our service members: we owe you and we will always have your backs.”
The Guard’s departure came as Democrats and Republicans inside the Capitol continued to disagree over how to fund fortifications of the Capitol and whether to form an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack that sought to overturn former President Donald Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
“It is imperative that Congress continues to take action to honor the sacrifice of law enforcement and to protect the Capitol and ensure that an attack can never again be perpetrated against it,” Pelosi said. “Now that the House has passed bills to establish an independent bipartisan January 6th Commission and to fund additional security for the Capitol, the Senate must act. There is no time to waste or room for partisanship in keeping our Capitol and country safe.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who oversaw a security review in the wake of the rioting, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the Capitol complex will remain closed to the general public because of the strain on the police force.
“God bless the National Guard,” Honore said. “They’ve done significant work.”
In The News
WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., on Thursday urged House and Senate conferees currently working on a bipartisan... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., on Thursday urged House and Senate conferees currently working on a bipartisan innovation bill to complete their work soon so that the House can vote on it before the August recess. Originally called the Endless Frontier Act, the... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to investigate whether former Trump attorney Sidney Powell is contributing... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to investigate whether former Trump attorney Sidney Powell is contributing funds to the legal defense of the right ring extremist Oath Keepers accused of raiding the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The Justice Department says... Read More
WASHINGTON — The House gave its approval on Friday to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous and mentally ill... Read More
WASHINGTON — The House gave its approval on Friday to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous and mentally ill people from getting their hands on firearms, ending a three-decade stalemate over how to deal with mass shootings and other deadly firearm-related incidents. The 234-193 vote,... Read More
WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to catch up to the computerized automation that is running many American businesses but only... Read More
WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to catch up to the computerized automation that is running many American businesses but only now is filtering into more conservative government offices. A House committee held a hearing Thursday to determine how to bring greater efficiencies into government operations through... Read More
WASHINGTON — As Title IX turns 50 this week, experts weigh in to discuss how its recent history could hint... Read More
WASHINGTON — As Title IX turns 50 this week, experts weigh in to discuss how its recent history could hint at what’s still to come for the landmark educational sexual discrimination law. When Title IX was being formulated in Congress, the lawmakers that conceived it couldn’t... Read More
WASHINGTON — New revelations about a toxic work environment on the Washington Commanders football team were revealed during a congressional... Read More
WASHINGTON — New revelations about a toxic work environment on the Washington Commanders football team were revealed during a congressional hearing Wednesday but only after Republicans protested that the hearing never should have been held. A key revelation came from a House Oversight and Reform Committee... Read More