Norton Reflects on Attack on Capitol, Reiterates Call to Give D.C. Control Over D.C. National Guard

Jan 6, 2022
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, including calling for Congress to give the District of Columbia mayor control over the D.C. National Guard.

“One year ago, we witnessed an unprecedented mob assault on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to count the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. The attack was not only an attack on our democracy; it was also an attack on the District of Columbia, and particularly on the residential neighborhood surrounding the Capitol, where I live. The Capitol attack affected District residents and businesses for months, with fencing, road closures and police and military patrols.

“On January 6th, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), which is funded by taxes paid by D.C. residents, who are denied voting representation in the House and Senate and lack full self-government, voluntarily saved the lives of members of Congress and congressional staff, the Capitol and democracy itself. Yet House Republicans thanked D.C. by voting against the D.C. statehood bill only a few months later.

“On this January 6th anniversary, Americans should remember that D.C., our capital, does not have full control over its public safety agencies. The attack highlighted the importance of my longstanding bill to give the D.C. mayor control over its own National Guard. The governors of states and territories control their National Guards, while the president controls the D.C. National Guard. This year, for the first time, the House passed my bill to give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard. The bill was included in the House’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) but it was removed from the final NDAA by Senate Republicans.

“The January 6th attack anniversary also provides a reminder that the president can federalize the MPD. I have introduced the District of Columbia Police Home Rule Act, which would repeal this authority. The House-passed FY 2022 D.C. Appropriations bill would block the president from federalizing MPD in FY 2022.

“The Capitol must remain open to the public after the coronavirus pandemic has ended. I have introduced a bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to install permanent fencing around the Capitol Complex. This is a part of my longstanding commitment to keep federal public spaces in D.C. open to the public.

“Finally, we must come to grips with what happened one year ago, to fully understand what happened, so that we can work to ensure that it can never happen again. In that vein, I introduced a bill that would have established a national commission to understand the insurrection and to provide a complete account of what happened on and leading up to January 6, including preparedness and response. Ultimately, a select committee was formed to investigate the attack. We must hope that its work will help us to prevent future attacks.”