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House Republicans mad about Capitol security after they helped incite riot

Six Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election are up in arms over plans for permanent security fencing around the Capitol.

By Emily Singer - January 29, 2021
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

They propped up Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen, and voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s legitimate victory even after a violent mob of Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to wage a riot that leads to five deaths.

Yet after the acting Capitol Police chief on Thursday announced a recommendation for permanent security fencing to prevent more violent attacks from extremists, six House Republicans who voted to overturn Biden’s win and helped incite the deadly insurrection expressed anger at the plan, saying fencing is not needed.

GOP Reps. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Darrell Issa of California, Jerry Carl of Alabama, Elise Stefanik of New York, Jim Banks of Indiana, and Matt Gaetz of Florida — six of the 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn Biden’s win even after the insurrection — all expressed anger at Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman’s recommendation.

“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,” Pittman said in a statement.

But the House lawmakers who helped make the Capitol unsafe by lying to Trump supporters said the fence is not needed.

“Madam Speaker, take down these fences!” Crawford, who spread lies about voter fraud tainting the 2020 election, tweeted, adding the hashtag “#ThePeoplesHouse.”

“We can’t let the assault on January 6th result in this,” Carl, who was one of the GOP lawmakers who plotted with Trump to steal the election, tweeted. “The People’s House is a symbol of freedom and democracy to the world. Walls belong on the border — not around our Capitol building. With better preparation we can keep the Capitol safe without a permanent fence.”

“This is the People’s House,” Stefanik, who announced her intention to vote to overturn Biden’s win before the insurrection with lies about “unprecedented voting irregularities” in the 2020 election, tweeted. “I am adamantly opposed. There has been no threat briefing given to Members of Congress to justify this proposal.”

“Are we still the People’s House?” Banks tweeted, referring to the plan for permanent security fencing.

Issa, who also voted to overturn Biden’s win, called the proposal for permanent fencing to protect the building from violent right-wing extremists “Completely unacceptable.”

“We must not let what happened on January 6th change the fundamental truth that the U.S. Capitol is the American people’s house. We will fight this,” Issa tweeted of the fencing plan.

Meanwhile, Gaetz mocked the proposal for security fencing, calling it, “The first wall the Democrats support.”

It’s unclear whether permanent security fencing will be a long-term fixture at the Capitol, which was defiled by Trump supporters.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said that intelligence suggests the fencing is still needed for threats but said she does not want to see fencing or the presence of troops at the Capitol for the foreseeable future.

“Based on conversations with federal partners, there are some potentially volatile events upcoming that will require extra security. Fencing and the presence of troops will be a part of that. But we will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in DC,” Bowser tweeted.

“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,” she added.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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