U.S. National Guard members have been permitted back into the Capitol building, after mass outrage over the troops being exiled to the parking garage. CNN reports that a number of lawmakers spoke out about the situation, prompting the guardsmen to be allowed back in the building, where they can rest while not on duty. The troops are now being allowed to rest in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
Following the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, thousands of National Guard soldiers were moved out of the Capitol Complex to a parking garage as their main base when not on duty. Speaking about it, one troop told CNN, "We honestly just feel betrayed. After everything went seamlessly, we were deemed useless and banished to a corner of a parking garage." Many lawmakers were lived when they found out what had happened. "This is outrageous, shameful, and incredibly disrespectful to the men and women keeping the U.S. Capitol safe and secure," tweeted Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). "We need it fixed and we need answers on how it happened."
Unreal. I can’t believe that the same brave servicemembers we’ve been asking to protect our Capitol and our Constitution these last two weeks would be unceremoniously ordered to vacate the building. I am demanding answers ASAP. They can use my office. https://t.co/GlSSx9nqXo— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 22, 2021
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), added, "Very upset by this story but I have been in touch with the Utah National Guard and they are taken care of. My staff and I are investigating what happened here and will continue working to fix this situation." Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), tweeted, "Just made a number of calls and have been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the Guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight. I'll keep checking to make sure they are."
Duckworth continued to follow-up on the situation, finally tweeting two crucial updates Thursday night, "Just received text from Guard Commander: the last Guardsmen will clear the garage by 2330 tonight," she wrote around 8:30 p.m. The Senator added at around 9 p.m., "Troops are now all out of the garage. Now I can go to bed."
New Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly addressed the situation directly with National Guard troops. CNN reports that, on Friday morning, he thanked many of them for their service, and expressed outrage over what happened to them. Schumer vowed to make sure it never happens again.