Norton Celebrates Announcement that Capitol Fencing Will Be Removed

Jul 8, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today celebrated the announcement that the fencing around the Capitol Building grounds, erected after the January 6th attack on the Capitol, will be removed.  The removal will start as soon as tomorrow and is expected to take three days. Norton has long worked to remove the fencing at the Capitol complex, both for its symbolism against open and democratic government and to restore access to roads and walkways for D.C. residents, emergency services, mail delivery, and local businesses. She also introduced a bill to prohibit federal funding from being used to install permanent fencing at the Capitol complex.

“This announcement finally vindicates my campaign against fencing off the Capitol,” Norton said. “While I am seeking further information about the bike racks that will apparently be used to block access to parts of the Lower West Terrace and East Front of the Capitol, overall, the announcement is a victory for D.C. residents, local businesses and the American people. In the year 2021, fencing, a 19th-century approach to security, must not become our response to emergencies such as the failures of January 6th, when state-of-the-art 21st-century approaches are available and are more effective. We will never again allow our Capitol Hill neighborhood to be turned into a military zone any more than the Capitol itself.”

Norton has introduced the No Fencing at the United States Capitol Complex Act, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to install permanent fencing at the Capitol complex. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) have introduced the Senate companion bill.