Speaker Nancy Pelosi said thousands of National Guard troops at the U.S. Capitol should remain “as long as they are needed,” following a request by the Capitol Police that they stay in place for another two months.
“We have to have what we need when we need it, and in the numbers that we need,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday in response to the Capitol Police request. “But that’s a security decision.”
Thousands of troops remain in and around the Capitol.
They’ve been in place since the Jan. 6 attack by a throng of pro-Trump protesters who stormed into the building and forced lawmakers to flee to safety.
Following the attack, Capitol officials erected 7-foot, nonscalable fencing topped with barbed wire around the perimeter of the campus.
Pelosi told reporters she’s waiting for a briefing on a security plan proposal for the Capitol that could come as early as next week. The decision to retain the troops, she said, would be made by law enforcement.
“Hopefully, next week, we will be able to have presentations,” Pelosi said. “The issue of the National Guard is one that will be made by the Capitol Police and the [U.S. Capitol] Police Board, and the rest.”
Pelosi cut short the House schedule this week after Capitol Police reported a threat of a March 4 attack on the building by an unspecified militia group.
The Senate remained in session.
Pelosi said the move was “just as a convenience” to accommodate the GOP Conference issues retreat scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but she also said it “made sense” to have fewer people in the Capitol “if, in fact, there were any troublemakers around.”
Pelosi appointed retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore to come up with a Capitol security plan in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack.
He provided a draft security review last month, after which Pelosi said Congress would need to pass supplemental federal spending to pay for security improvements.
Source: Washington Examiner : Pelosi: National Guard to remain at Capitol ‘as long as they are needed’