Two months have passed, and many of the people involved in the occurrence have since been detained and indicted. The House impeached Trump for inciting an insurrection, and the Senate cleared him.
But the fencing stays, along with thousands of National Guard troops called in to react to the attack and to guard the building during President Biden's inauguration.
The Capitol used to be open, but today the campus has transformed into a stronghold and will likely remain so for the nearing future.
“It’s not rational,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. “I’d say right now we’re overreacting.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters that she’s leaving safety resolutions up to the Capitol’s top law enforcement officials. They report to her and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The Capitol Police have symbolized that they want some permanent barrier around the building. This week, they asked the Defense Department to leave the thousands of National Guard troops at the Capitol for an additional two months.
“We should have them here as long as they are needed,” Pelosi said when asked whether the National Guard should stay until May.
Pelosi last month selected retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, to carry a complete security evaluation of the Capitol following the Jan. 6 attack.
That day, demonstrators easily pushed their way through metal barricades. They fought their way past the Capitol Police, who were left mostly unfitting and without enough riot gear or manpower. Capitol Police officers waited hours for help after making “frantic” calls to the District of Columbia National Guard, which could not get approval from the Defense Department to deploy to the Capitol.
Honore has said that some National Guard troops could remain permanently at the Capitol.
Honore published a draft report that called for performing a “quick reaction force” to be on guard 24 hours a day and staffed by either particularly trained federal officers or members of the National Guard.
The report calls for hiring another 900 Capitol Police officers and obtaining transportable fencing that can be immediately installed during emergencies.
Pelosi said she is expecting a briefing on the recommendations next week. A supplemental spending measure will be required to pay for the new security, Pelosi said. The current fencing structure costs $2 million per week.
A collection of 20 organizations wrote to congressional leaders last month, calling on them to reject permanent fencing around the Capitol.
“Militarizing our Capitol is a sign of weakness and a hallmark of authoritarian countries,” wrote the group, which included Demand Progress and the Lincoln Network. “It is an overreaction based upon a miscalculation of how to address the dangers we face. We must do better.”