National Guard break time in Capitol-area parking garage gets lawmakers fuming

National Guard break time in Capitol-area parking garage gets lawmakers fuming

“Garage
kept”
may
be
great
for
classic
cars

but
for

National
Guard
members
it
may
be
disrespectful.

Reports
of
shabby
treatment
of
National
Guard
troops
at
the
U.S.
Capitol
were
sparking
bipartisan
outrage
among
lawmakers
and
other
officials
Thursday

with
Texas
Gov.
Greg
Abbott
calling
for
the
return
home
of
his
state’s
Guard
members.

Thousands
of
National
Guard
troops
from
several
states
had
deployed
to
the

U.S.
Capitol
to
protect
Wednesday’s

inauguration of
President
Biden
against
threats
of
violence
following
the
Jan.
6
riot.

Photos
of
Guard
members
sleeping
on
the
marble
floors
of
the
Capitol
quickly
went
viral

until
they
later
received
cots.
Then
on
Thursday
came
another
insult:
According
to
reports,
the
Guard
members
were
abruptly
told
to
take
their
break
time
inside
a
parking
garage
instead
of
inside
the
Capitol.

The
Guardsmen,
who
had
been
resting
inside
the
Capitol
between
12-hour
shifts,
were
moved
to
a
nearby
parking
garage
where
photos
obtained
by
Politico
and
other
outlets
showed members
crowded
together
on
the
ground

some
resting
their
heads
against
cement
pillars.

By
Thursday
evening,
Abbott
was
among
those
who
had
apparently
seen
enough.

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

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

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

Senate
Majority
Leader
Chuck
Schumer,
D-N.Y.,
tweeted
about
the
parking
garage
reports,
“If
this
is
true,
it’s
outrageous.
I
will
get
to
the
bottom
of
this.”


NATIONAL
GUARD
SAYS
THERE
WERE
‘NO
CONFRONTATIONS’
WITH
PROTESTERS
DURING
BIDEN
INAUGURATION 

U.S.
Rep.
Elise
Stefanik,
R-N.Y.,
tweeted,
“This
is
absolutely
unacceptable
and
despicable
treatment
of
our
brave
and
dedicated
National
Guard
who
answered
the
call
to
serve.
We
need
to
demand
answers
now
and
this
needs
to
be
fixed
immediately.”

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

“We
need
it
fixed
and
we
need
answers
on
how
it
happened,”
she
tweeted.

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

Sen.
Tammy
Duckworth,
D-Ill.,
confirmed
that
she
had
made
several
calls
and
had
been
informed
the
“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.”


NATIONAL
GUARDSMEN
REMOVED
FROM
US
CAPITOL
AHEAD
OF
INAUGURATION 

One
Guardsman
told
Politico
that
on
the
day
of
the
inauguration
dozens
of
lawmakers
had
taken
photos
with
them,
shook
their
hands
and
thanked
them
for
their
service.
He
added,
“Within
24
hours,
they
had
no
further
use
for
us
and
banished
us
to
the
corner
of
a
parking
garage.
We
feel
incredibly
betrayed.” 

Politico
reported
the
unit
that
had
been
using
space
in
the
Dirksen
Senate
Office
building
were
asked
to
move
to
the
garage
by
the
Capitol
Police. 

“After
significant
outcry,
it
seems
like
there
is
movement
right
now
to
get
Guard
members
back
inside
the
Capitol,
into
the
visitors
center,”
Politico
reporter
Natasha
Bertrand,
tweeted.

Politico
reporter
Lara
Seligman
said
a
Guard
source
told
her “all
units
at
the
Thurgood
Marshall
parking
garage
are
ordered
to
relocate
to
the
CVC
immediately.”

The
U.S.
Capitol
Police
put
out
a
statement
on
the
report
saying,
“The
United
States
Capitol
Police
immensely
appreciates
the
integral
support
of
the
U.S.
National
Guard
in
helping
to
secure
the
Capitol
Complex
leading
up
to,
and
including
the
Inaugural
ceremony. The
Department
is
grateful
for
their
service
and
our
strong
partnership
during
this
time.”

It
continued,
“The
Department’s
request
for
National
Guard
assistance
included
a
specific
number
of
personnel
to
allow
the
National
Guard
to
provide,
at
a
minimum,
12
hours
of
off-campus
rest
time
for
the
troops,
and
understood
that
this
would
be
carried
out
throughout
their
deployment. Recently,
the
Department
requested
that
the
troops’
schedules
be
changed
so
they
work
no
more
than
8-hour
shifts
to
allow
for
more
off-campus
rest
time
post-Inauguration.”


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The
Guardsmen
have
been
using
the
garage
only
for
breaks
between
their
long
shifts
and
have
recently
had
hotel
rooms
to
sleep
in
at
night,
a
CBS
News
reporter

tweeted.

A
spokesman
for
the
National
Guard
told

Politico,
“As
Congress
is
in
session
and
increased
foot
traffic
and
business
is
being
conducted,
Capitol
Police
asked
the
troops
to
move
their
rest
area.
They
were
temporarily
relocated
to
the
Thurgood
Marshall
Judicial
Center
garage
with
heat
and
restroom
facilities.
We
remain
an
agile
and
flexible
force
to
provide
for
the
safety
and
security
of
the
Capitol
and
its
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 Fox
News
request for
comment. 

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