US National Guard members, who were told to vacate the Capitol Complex and forced to stay outdoors or in nearby parking garages, were allowed back into the building after an outcry from lawmakers, Politico reported, citing a guardsman
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd January, 2021) US National Guard members, who were told to vacate the Capitol Complex and forced to stay outdoors or in nearby parking garages, were allowed back into the building after an outcry from lawmakers, Politico reported, citing a guardsman.
The news website reported on Thursday that guardsmen were moved to parking garages after being told that they are no longer allowed to rest in the Capitol Complex between shifts and use its facilities, including the cafeteria.
Photos shared by the media show guardsmen sleeping just a few feet away from parked vehicles, while one guardsman told the news outlet that his unit was placed in a parking garage with only one bathroom for some 5,000 troops.
The Capitol Police confirmed that troops were asked to reduce shifts from 12 to eight hours and rest between shifts away from the Capitol building but did not explain the decision. A guardsman told Politico that complaint about some troops seen not wearing masks may have prompted such a decision, while the National Guard Bureau said that relocation was only temporary and linked to a session in Congress.
The decision to move guardsmen to parking garages was condemned by a number of lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic parties. Senator Mike Lee, a Republic from Utah, said that he was "upset by this story" and was in touch with guardsmen from his state who are now "taken care of." Moreover, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, said that she made "calls" and was informed that the Capitol Police have apologized to the National Guard.
Over 25,000 troops from all 50 US states were brought to Washington, DC to secure the capital during the Wednesday inauguration of President Joe Biden. According to the National Guard Bureau, some 15,000 guardsmen will be sent home in the near future, while 7,000 guardsmen are expected to stay until the end of January.