A group of House Republicans sent a letter Friday to Sergeant at Arms William Walker calling on him to fully reopen the U.S. Capitol to the public.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which was spearheaded by New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell and signed by 38 other Republicans. On Monday, the U.S. Capitol reopened to the public for guided tours but access is still limited. Only groups that have registered in advance are allowed to tour the U.S. Capitol, which has been shut down for two years due to COVID-19.
Also, The Capitol Visitor Center will not reopen until May 30, and then only for a limited number of visitors, NBC News reported. Congressional offices are also reportedly only able to allow one group of 15 people on a tour per week.
The lawmakers argued that while they are glad some of the public can now enter, the Capitol should be fully open and constituents should not have to go through their offices to set up tours of the Capitol.
“For two years, the American people have been prevented from visiting their Capitol building and participating freely in the democratic process. Enough is enough: it is time to end outdated, unnecessary, and unscientific restrictions on visitors to Congress, and allow travelers and families to enjoy the shared treasures of our great nation once again,” Herrell told the Daily Caller before sending the letter. (RELATED: House Interns Reportedly Draft Letter Begging Pelosi To Open Capitol To The Public)
Here Are The Questions The Lawmakers Want Answered:
- When will the House Appointments Desk visitor protocol be lifted? How will the names and information of visitors be archived?
- Who currently has access to and will have access to the House Appointment Desk visitor lists?
- On what scientific basis (or other reason) are only official business visitors allowed?
- Of similar concern, why is the public still severely limited in scheduling a tour of the Capitol?
READ THE LETTER HERE:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Daily Caller that if Republicans win back the House in November and he is elected as Speaker, on day one in office he would abolish proxy voting and remote committee business, repeal mask mandates and the associated fines, remove the magnetometers from the House floor and re-open the Capitol to the American people. (RELATED: ‘Transparently Security Theater’: Onlookers, Members Of Congress Call Bullsh*t On Capitol Police ‘Security Threat’)
The Capitol was first shut down in March 2020, and its reopening was then delayed due to new variants.
The lawmakers called for responses to their questions by April 8, 2022.