Dear Colleague on Capitol Security
Dear Democratic Colleague,
Last week, General Honoré released his assessment on the security posture of the U.S. Capitol Complex. There were three Member briefings on General Honoré’s critical recommendations relating to physical and operational security to keep Members, staff and all workers safe. The findings of this report underscore the need to pass an emergency supplemental in order to implement key recommendations, which include but are not limited to: increasing intelligence capacity and assessment, improving the decision-making apparatus of the U.S. Capitol Police Board, enhancing USCP capacity and training, and working with the Architect of the Capitol to harden the U.S. Capitol (view the full Honoré report here).
On Friday, the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) sent a letter to Members encouraging continued vigilance in social distancing and mask wearing. Dr. Monahan strongly advised all Members to complete vaccinations at the earliest possible opportunity and for Members vaccinated elsewhere to share their records with the OAP. As he wrote, “This information will inform future recommendations the OAP may have regarding the modification or relaxation of existing social distancing guidelines, revising/accelerating the cohort House Floor voting procedures and other aspects of Congressional operations involving committee meetings and reopening of other processes.” The more people that are vaccinated, the quicker we can return to normal.
Today, you have received a letter sent by the Acting House Sergeant at Arms regarding the security posture of the Capitol. The U.S. Capitol Police, working with federal, state and local intelligence partners, has concluded that “there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.” Therefore, alterations to the temporary fencing around the Capitol will soon be made, and the National Guard presence will also begin to draw down. However, the USCP will continue to monitor the threat posture, and plans will be adjusted if and as needed.
One remaining priority is to move forward with an outside 9/11-type Commission, with bipartisan support, to “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6 domestic terrorist attack upon the Capitol Complex… and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.” We must get to the truth of how the January 6 assault happened, and we must ensure that it cannot happen again. I am attaching the discussion draft that I sent to Republican leadership with a request for feedback last month. It is essential that we proceed in a bipartisan way in order to have a respected outcome.
Thank you for your continued patriotic leadership to keep our country safe, as we honor our oath of office.