National Guard break in Capitol area parking garage angering lawmakers

“Guarded garage” may be ideal for classic cars – but for members of the National Guard, it can be disrespectful.

Reports of mistreatment of National Guard troops at the U.S. Capitol sparked bipartisan outrage among lawmakers and other officials Thursday – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott calling for members of the United States to return home. Guard of his state.

Thousands of National Guard troops from several states had deployed to the U.S. capital to protect President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday against threats of violence following the January 6 riot.

Photos of Guardians sleeping on the marble floors of the Capitol quickly went viral – until they were later given baby cots. Then, on Thursday, another insult arose: According to reports, members of the Guard were abruptly asked to take their break time in a parking lot instead of inside the Capitol.

The guards, who were resting inside the Capitol between 12-hour shifts, were transferred to a nearby parking lot where photos obtained by Politico and other media showed members crammed on the ground – some resting their heads against cement pillars.

On Thursday night, Abbott was among those who had apparently seen enough.

“I have tasked General Norris with ordering the return of the Texas National Guard to our state,” the Republican governor wrote on Twitter, referring to Major General Tracy Norris of the Texas National Guard.

Abbott had previously objected to reports that members of the Guard were being “scrutinized” over concerns about a possible “inside” attack during Biden’s inauguration.

More outrage came earlier Thursday from other lawmakers and officials, Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., tweeted of the parking lot reports: “If that’s true, it’s outrageous. I’ll get to the bottom of it.”


US Representative Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., tweeted: “This is absolutely unacceptable and despicable treatment of our courageous and dedicated National Guard who has answered the call to serve. We must demand answers now and this must be resolved immediately. “

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Called the treatment of members of the Guard “outrageous, shameful and incredibly disrespectful”.

“We need to fix it and we need answers on how it went,” she tweeted.

Sinema was one of many lawmakers to offer guards use of her office and around 10:30 p.m. ET she tweeted that the members had all been “welcomed back to the Capitol tonight. No more parking.”

CBS reporter Kris Van Cleave reported early Friday that the National Guard said troops had come out of the garage and would now take their breaks in the Emancipation Room at the Capitol Visitor Center. He included a video of the troops leaving the garage.

Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Confirmed that she had made several calls and was told that “Capitol Police have apologized to the guards and they will be allowed to return to the complex this evening.” I will continue to check to make sure they are. “

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also offered her office, confirmed guards were allowed to enter the Capitol and said an offer of snacks “was still valid”.


A guard told Politico that on the day of the inauguration, dozens of lawmakers took photos with them, shook hands with them and thanked them for their service. He added, “Within 24 hours they stopped serving us and banned us from a corner of a parking lot. We feel incredibly betrayed.”

Politico reported that the unit that had used the space in the Dirksen Senate office building had been asked to move into the garage by Capitol Police.

“After a major outcry, it appears that there is a movement right now to bring the members of the Guard back inside the Capitol, in the visitors’ center,” tweeted Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand.

Politico reporter Lara Seligman said a Guard source told her that “all units in the Thurgood Marshall parking lot are ordered to move immediately to the CVC.”

The United States Capitol Police released a statement on the report saying, “The United States Capitol Police greatly appreciate the full support of the United States National Guard to help secure the Capitol complex prior to and including the ceremony. inaugural. The Department is grateful for their service and our strong partnership during this time. “

He continued, “The Department’s request for National Guard assistance included a specific number of personnel to enable the National Guard to provide, at a minimum, 12 hours of off-campus rest for troops, and he understood that this would be done throughout their deployment. Recently, the Department requested that the schedules of troops be changed so that they do not work more than 8 hours to allow more time off campus after the inauguration. “


Guards only use the garage for breaks between their long shifts and recently had hotel rooms to sleep at night, Van Cleave tweeted.

A National Guard spokesperson told Politico: “As Congress is in session and foot traffic and business is on the rise, Capitol Police have asked the soldiers to relocate their rest area. been temporarily moved to the garage at the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center with warmth and We remain an agile and flexible force to ensure the safety and security of the Capitol and surrounding areas. The Guard is reviewing the request so that logistics and schedules can be adjusted . “

The National Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

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