Republican lawmakers ridiculed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ongoing deployment of National Guard troops and police as well as fencing and razor wire around the U.S. Capitol during speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we start quartering soldiers in the committee hearing rooms,” said freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who dubbed the Capitol complex “Fort Pelosi.”
“There’s plenty in the parking garages at Fort Pelosi. Maybe we can start unreasonably seizing and searching members of Congress. Oh, wait, we’re already doing that in House chambers,” Boebert added, likely a reference to Pelosi’s unilateral decision last month to install metal detectors and post guards at each entrance to the House chamber following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
GOP lawmakers and political commentators including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson have repeatedly questioned why armed Guard troops and fencing remain in place around the Capitol nearly two months later, but they say their questions have gone unanswered.
Earlier this month, Rep. Michael Waltz, (R-Fla.), a former U.S. Army Green Beret and current National Guard officer, also dubbed the Capitol Complex “Fort Pelosi.”
“I’m still a serving national guardsman, and I can appreciate that those soldiers were pulled out of their businesses, their jobs, their families, and they’re sitting there with this open-ended mandate,” he told Fox Business Network.
“I’ve repeatedly asked, as have a number of my colleagues, the Army, the National Guard Bureau, the Department of Justice, what is the threat that is so large, specifically, that requires more soldiers on Capitol Hill than we have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined? And then what are we going to do about it? What are we going to do going forward?” Waltz continued.
“This is just this kind of open-ended mandate. I’m calling it Fort Pelosi at this point. The Guard can’t serve as her private security force, and we need answers and we’re not getting any.”
Added Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), in a separate interview with “Fox & Friends, “Myself and several of my colleagues have asked Nancy Pelosi for a briefing as to why do we need these troops here? And we have received zero information, zero.
“I feel like there’s a boogie man under my bed,” McClain continued.. “So, at the end of the day, is just explain to us why we have the National Guard troops.”
She said at the time, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was considering a proposal to send an additional 1,000 Michigan National Guard soldiers to Washington, D.C., prompting McClain to argue those troops would better serve their fellow Michiganders “with the distribution of the COVID relief vaccination.”
Some Democrats have said the troops and fencing remain in place because security threats remain, and they blame Republicans and former President Donald Trump. And
As for Boebert, she has regularly triggered Democrats with her insistence on carrying a concealed weapon on Capitol Grounds, as rules in place since the 1960s permit lawmakers to do.
“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C., and within the Capitol complex,” she tweeted on January 12. “Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week—it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 27, 2021
During her CPAC panel discussion, she accused Democrats of preparing, once again, to go after Second Amendment rights, noting they “don’t want you to be able to protect yourself, they don’t want you to have freedom of speech, and they don’t want you to have freedom of religion.”
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