National Guard Requested at Capitol for Two More Months
The National Guard has been asked to stay in Washington, DC, for another 60 days, a National Guard source confirmed to Breitbart News, after Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) tweeted Thursday afternoon that she was hearing from contacts about the request.
Slotkin, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and former Pentagon official, said she has heard from contacts at the National Guard that Capitol Police asked them to extend their mission for 60 days and that the Guard is “soliciting states to send contributions.”
“No one likes seeing the fortress-like security around the Capitol. And no one wants to again have a security problem in and around this symbolic place,” Slotkin tweeted. “But whether an extension has been requested or the mission is indeed terminating on March 12, it’s critical that members of Congress get a briefing on what’s behind these decisions.”
No one likes seeing the fortress-like security around the Capitol. And no one wants to again have a security problem in and around this symbolic place.
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) March 4, 2021
Slotkin added, “But whether an extension has been requested or the mission is indeed terminating on March 12, it’s critical that members of Congress get a briefing on what’s behind these decisions.”
The Pentagon as recently as Tuesday said it had no additional requests from law enforcement authorities for an extension of the National Guard’s mission to assist federal and local law enforcement, which was slated to end next week, on March 12.
However, U.S. Capitol Police said on Wednesday they have information regarding a possible plot by a militant group to breach the Capitol on Thursday.
The U.S. House of Representatives, in response to the possible event, canceled the remaining week’s agenda. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), wrapped up planned votes late Wednesday. Neither Pelosi’s website or Twitter specifies whether she left town for the weekend.
The Senate is still in session, however, attempting to pass coronavirus relief legislation.
The National Guard has been surrounding the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the January 6 Capitol Building breach by pro-Trump protesters.
Then-Defense Secretary Chris Miller authorized 7,000 National Guard forces. That number was raised to more than 26,000 for President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The number was slated to go down to the mid-5000s by mid-March, when the mission is slated to end.
Republican lawmakers have blasted the continued deployment, which to date has cost nearly $500 million in American taxpayer funds.
The deployment has also been a political headache for Democrats — who have argued their presence is needed — after dozens of National Guard troops were photographed being forced to take breaks in House and Senate parking garages by the Capitol Building.
Most recently, reports revealed that Michigan National Guard members in D.C. were being served meals with undercooked meat and metal shavings.
Separately, Democrats are investigating whether the Pentagon delayed deploying National Guard after Capitol Police requested help.
Commanding General of D.C. National Guard William Walker on Wednesday testified that he immediately alerted Pentagon leadership of then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund’s request, but that Pentagon officials were concerned about the “optics” of having uniformed Guardsmen at the Capitol.
According to Walker’s testimony, approval eventually came three hours and 19 minutes later from acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.