March 04, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today after the U.S. Capitol Police requested National Guardsmen remain at the Capitol Complex for an additional two months after the current approval expires on March 12:
“I’m outraged that U.S. Capitol Police have requested to keep the nearly 5,000 National Guardsmen at the Capitol Complex for another two months without presenting clear and specific information. I haven’t been satisfied with any explanation Congress has received at numerous briefings that all these personnel, resources and barbed wire are needed. The Capitol Police have clearly stated that no specific credible threat exists — and what’s more, they haven’t provided the Department of Defense with any of the information needed to justify this request.
“Keeping the Capitol Complex safe — and open to the public, as it has been forever — is a federal civilian law enforcement responsibility. We can and should make improvements to how the Capitol Police protect the building, and there are plenty of options available to us, such as changes to the U.S. Capitol Police force structure, availability of a non-military quick reaction force and mobile fencing.
“What this solution should not look like is keeping the National Guardsmen here indefinitely, as has been rumored. This is not their job or their mission—and the image this would paint on the world stage is concerning. I look forward to working with law enforcement agencies and my colleagues to improve Capitol security and get our Guardsmen back home to their families.”