Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Shaken U.S. Capitol on high alert for Biden's first address to Congress

WorldApr 27, 2021 02:30PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Security fences, erected following the January 6th attack, are seen surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S.

By Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday will take place in a U.S. Capitol on high alert, with memories fresh of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the building by supporters of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

The crowd inside the Capitol will be a fraction of the hundreds of members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, top government officials and guests who typically attend, to allow for more social distancing in a COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 572,000 Americans.

But security will be higher than usual, even for what is officially designated a "National Special Security Event," with the Secret Service in charge of security.

"The Secret Service and all law enforcement and public safety partners have worked hard collectively in preparation to secure this significant event," said a Secret Service representative, adding that "every security contingency is accounted for."

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said she is confident about security for Biden's speech.

"I actually had a very strong briefing on Monday. I said I wish I had had this briefing, you know, before January 6. But we insisted on knowing every detail of it," she told reporters.

The limitations on attendance, she said, mostly are being driven by COVID-19 precautions, but security also is playing a role.

The white-domed building is still surrounded by a black steel mesh fence with some 2,250 armed National Guard troops from the District of Columbia and 18 states on duty in the city, the vestiges of a much larger force put in place after Trump supporters stormed the building as Congress was voting to certify Biden's election victory.

Five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died from the violence and dozens of police were injured in clashes with rioters. More than 400 people have been charged in connection with the attack, and authorities expect at least 100 more will be charged, federal prosecutors said in a court filing last week

District of Columbia authorities have asked the Pentagon to authorize the district's National Guard contingent to help local police handle any anti-Biden protests coinciding with Wednesday's address.

"The D.C. National Guard is prepared to support D.C. law enforcement, pending approval" by acting Army Secretary John Whitley, the D.C. National Guard said in a statement.

It was not immediately known if Whitley would approve the request. The National Guard deployment already has cost more than $520 million, according to the U.S. National Guard Bureau.

'THE FENCE IS EVERYWHERE'

The howl of leaf blowers mingled with the roar of heavy machinery this week around the fenced-in Capitol as ground staff cleared withered leaves and construction crews worked on renovating a fountain at the foot of the complex.

Steel barriers lined sidewalks, glinting in the sun. Ambulances sat before the House.

Gena Whalon was among a smattering of out-of-town visitors taking selfies outside. She reflected on the insurrection and the U.S. Capitol Police’s failure to prevent Trump supporters from breaching the building.

"If all those people were Black, they would have fired tear gas," said Whalon, an African American from Austin, Texas.

"The fence is everywhere," she said, standing outside it. "It's completely understandable because of the dangers of the protesters. It does suck, though, because the fence prevents you from taking good pictures."

Capitol Police said on Monday they had taken into custody a 22-year-old man who scaled the fence late on Sunday.

Congress is only just starting to grapple with the aftermath of the violence.

Michael Bolton, the Capitol Police inspector general, appeared before a House committee earlier this month to present findings of "deficiencies" within the unit that handles public disturbances and poor coordination and training in its intelligence unit.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working to secure Republican backing for a bipartisan commission that would investigate the riot.

Shaken U.S. Capitol on high alert for Biden's first address to Congress
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email