WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today backed the Capitol Police Board’s recommendations to strengthen safety and security protocols surrounding the Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts, while enhancing the access and experience for our nation’s wounded warriors.  The leaders issued the following statement:

“The Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts at the Capitol are great national tributes to America and its heroes.   Every year, our goal is to make these events as safe and accessible as possible, especially for our veterans, service members, and military families.  To that end, we fully support the Capitol Police Board’s recommendations and will implement them in advance of this year’s events.  The safety and security of our guests remains our paramount concern, and these changes will allow us to continue honoring these holidays in a manner consistent with the dignity and history of the Capitol.  We are especially pleased that these changes will help us to enhance the experience for our wounded warriors, to whom we owe so much.  We will continue to consult with the Capitol Police Board and other leaders as this process moves forward.”

NOTE: On March 12, the Capitol Police Board sent a letter to the four congressional leaders outlining recommendations to enhance security procedures surrounding the Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts.  The plan agreed to by Boehner and McConnell would, among other things, include:

  • Upgrading safety and security protocols for the concerts similar to those of other large-scale Capitol events, such as the annual State of the Union Address or dignitary visits for a Joint Meeting. 
  • Limiting access to the Capitol building to Members of Congress, invited guests, and authorized staff.
  • Hosting wounded service members and their families for a pre-concert reception in the Capitol and VIP Capitol tour, and maintaining the tradition of hosting them on the Speaker’s balcony during the concerts.