Rep. Ted Budd Leads Letter Opposing Capitol Fence

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) led 41 of his House colleagues to send a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposing permanent military-style fencing around the Capitol.

Rep. Budd also published an op-ed making the same case this week.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, 

We write with concerns about the security measures and enhanced fencing around the U.S. Capitol even though high profile events like the inauguration are over. In particular, we are concerned with recent reports that the fencing surrounding the Capitol may become permanent. We are willing to have an honest debate about providing Capitol Hill Police with the resources they need to be better prepared without turning the Capitol into a permanent fortress. To that end, we urge you to remove the barbed wire fencing surrounding the Capitol and send the National Guard troops home to their families. It’s time. It’s time for healing and it's time for the removal of the fencing so the nation may move forward.

Let us be clear. The events that happened on January 6 were horrific. Understandably, certain increased security measures following that date were implemented. But it is time for Congress and its representatives to stop hiding. The American people see through the double standard. Members of Congress cannot demand more security and protection for themselves after they decried federal law enforcement activity across American cities last summer.

The U.S. Capitol is a symbol of freedom both at home and abroad. It is a place where Americans from all walks of life can visit, learn about, and witness U.S. history. Sadly, because of the fortress-like security in place, this is no longer the case. American citizens who wish to visit are not allowed to because only authorized personnel and the military are permitted. The people who call Capitol Hill home live day in and out with fences, military trucks, and military personnel in their backyards, on their way to work, to school, or the grocery store. Enough is enough.

Of course, we all understood that some increase in security was necessary after the tragic events of January 6, but now there is no valid reason to continue the same level of security measures. It is appalling that Communist China allows their citizens more freedom to visit historical sites like Tiananmen Square than currently exists for Americans who want to visit the Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

At the top of the Capitol building stands the Statue of Freedom. Much like the Statue of Liberty in New York City, the statue symbolizes why so many people from around the world come to America. They come to start anew, unshackled by tyranny and oppression, to be free from political and religious persecution, and to live in freedom and peace. The current state of the Capitol Complex fundamentally undermines that message, and we urge an end to it.

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