Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) is leading a group of some 30 House Republicans who are calling upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to either justify or remove the “excessive” security measures currently in place on Capitol Hill in the wake of a riot there on Jan. 6.
Fox News reported exclusively Friday that the House lawmakers had signed a letter to Pelosi laying out their grievances.
“We write to express our concern with the militarized fencing, excessive security infrastructure, and significant National Guard presence on the ground of the United States Capitol,” the letter reportedly reads.
In their letter, the Republicans specifically referenced a recent announcement by the Pentagon that National Guard troops would remain at the Capitol until March 15 — an occupancy that is estimated to cost American taxpayers $483 million, according to the Daily Caller.
“In light of this staggering announcement, we are asking for a detailed justification for continued National Guard presence and clarity on whether taxpayers will be responsible for this nearly $500 million expenditure,” the letter states.
According to Fox, the Republicans also charge that the “barbed-wire fencing and barriers” that have been erected around the Capitol are “posing logistical difficulties for staff and visitors, as well as preventing the American people from enjoying their nation’s Capitol.”
“Sends the wrong message”
These “excessive” security measures were imposed following the Jan. 6 riot and remained in place as federal agencies warned of potential threats surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. The event came and went without incident, however.
Now, Arrington et al. want to know why troops need to still be stationed on the Hill.
“The events of January 6 were reprehensible, and we understand a temporary need for increased security,” the group of Repubicans wrote in their letter, according to Fox. But “keeping thousands of troops in Washington indefinitely is fiscally irresponsible and sends the wrong message to our nation.”
“Insulting and un-American”
“The American people do not have the luxury of calling in thousands of troops and spending millions of dollars to build barbed-wire fences around their homes when they feel vulnerable,” the letter adds.
It continues: “To indulge Members of Congress — particularly if it is at the taxpayers’ expense — with these excessive measures is insulting and un-American.”
According to Fox, a spokesperson for Pelosi suggested the Republican lawmakers take up the matter with Capitol Police.