Capitol Hill

DC Congresswoman Wants to Ensure Impeachment Trial Security Fence is Temporary

Behind the security fence, armed National Guard troops stand, as the acting U.S. Capitol Police chief plans to work with Congress to improve security

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Fences topped with sharp razor wire surround the Capitol during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. It’s a safety measure that followed the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, and a local representative wants to make sure that it’s a temporary one. 

Residents, too, said they were disappointed at the distance between them and the symbol of American democracy. 

“It’s really sad. I miss being up there,” Ragen Gray, a D.C. resident, said. “There is like a sense of tranquility to be up near the People’s House you know in the evenings and you think, and you can’t do that right now.”

The acting U.S. Capitol Police chief has called for permanent fencing, but Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said she would introduce a bill in a few days to make it temporary.

“My bill banning permanent fencing will help put the needed focus back on security options that don’t wall off the Capitol like a fortress that needs to be protected from the people we represent,” Norton said in a written statement. 

However, a Congressional staffer who did not want to appear on camera said she wanted the fence to be permanent because she and some of her colleagues are concerned about their safety inside the Capitol.

Another resident who lives near the Capitol, Lana Guz, remarked that it felt strange to see the “massive” fence. 

“I would like people to not look at our Capitol and see fences and fear,” Guz said. “It would be nice to have hope again.”

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