Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty’s (R-TN) resolution to reopen the U.S. Capitol and Senate office buildings to the American people was passed by the Senate on Tuesday.
The resolution, which was introduced last month and is co-sponsored by more than half of the Senate Republican Conference, calls for reopening the U.S. Capitol and Senate office buildings to the American people and supports returning to the pre-COVID visitor policies for areas within Senate jurisdiction after nearly two years of closure, according to a news release by Hagerty’s office.
Hagerty’s resolution was blocked from passage by Democrats two weeks ago, suggesting the only science that changed is political science, the news release notes.
“We are one step closer to Americans walking the halls of Congress once again!” Hagerty wrote on Twitter.
#BREAKING | Senate Democrats have finally re-joined reality. The Senate just passed my resolution to re-open the United States Capitol to whom it belongs—the American people. We are one step closer to Americans walking the halls of Congress once again!
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) March 1, 2022
While speaking on the Senate floor, Hagerty called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a similar resolution “so that all parts of the Capitol Complex are open to the American people” and said he stands ready “to work with my colleagues and with the Capitol Police to implement this resolution so that we can welcome the American people back into their Capitol as soon as possible.”
Hagerty’s victory in the Senate came as Capitol Police ramped up security around the Capitol premises in preparations for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address. An inner-perimeter fence and 700 national guard members “available to help local law enforcement” were made available by the Capitol Police “to protect the United States Congress, the Capitol, and the legislative process,” according to the department. The fence is the same barrier that remained around the Capitol for months after the January 6th riot.
These safety preparations will be in place through March 7th, according to ABC News.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.