For five months, radical-left Congress members have painted January 6 as an “insurrection” and deployed thousands of National Guard troops to stand duty outside of the U.S Capitol building. While the number of troops guarding the Capitol has decreased as members were sent home every month, the rest are finally ending their mission. The Pentagon, however, recently announced that an extension of the National Guard’s timeline had not been requested and that the official mission ended Sunday night.
Nearly 26,000 Guard members were stationed in Washington, D.C from all 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, but the remaining 2,200 troops will be leaving Capitol Grounds soon. Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who’d been tasked with reviewing Capitol Security, told CBS “Face the Nation” that the area surrounding the Capitol will not be open immediately because of the current strain on US Capitol Police resources.
The National Guard Bureau recently estimated that the mission’s cost from January through March for troops to remain in Washington D.C ran up a $521 million bill. They first estimated the mission cost at $410 million, and then the extension in March cost an additional $111 million.
Democratic lawmakers also passed a $1.9 billion Capital Security Bill to reimburse the National Guard, including $250 million for retractable fencing and $200 million to create a National Guard quick-reaction force. The funds will also be spent on new cameras and stronger windows. No Republicans voted for the bill and even three members of the Democratic “Squad,” Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley voted no.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that there would be no equipment transferred to the U.S Capitol police, no residual force left behind and that there are no plans for any quick-reaction force that could respond to a repeat incident. He said that many of the Guard members who stood and patrolled each day were just acting as “physical and barrier sentries.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was responsible for renewing the Guard mission in March despite a lack of clear threat, praised the airman and soldiers for protecting the grounds and ensuring the people’s business could continue unabated. “As these troops depart for home and a much-deserved reunion with loved ones, I hope they do so knowing how much the nation appreciates their service and sacrifice,” he said.
But GOP members have criticized the continued Guard presence at the Capitol and the way that Democrats have treated them. They’ve called for the National Guard to be dismissed for months. While the extended presence was requested due to the alleged “follow-up threats,” most of them were proven hollow. Even Gen. Honore said that the National Guard’s mission to the Capitol could’ve ended sooner.
“I think if they do an after-action report that many will agree that they could have demobilized quicker. The more you use them, the less you got in the tank, and they were used a lot, and it was cold as hell,” Honore said.
National Guardsmen often endured freezing temperatures, as well as being pelted by rain and snow, from behind the 7-foot Capitol fences. They were forced to sleep on the ground of a parking garage near the U.S Capitol and often complained about being served ‘raw, moldy food.’ Some guard members were even hospitalized after eating food with metal shavings found in them.
The end of the Guard’s mission comes as Democrats push to pass a “9/11-style” commission to review the Jan. 6 riot, even though Republicans have argued that it could botch pending investigations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is unclear if the commission legislation will pass.
House Dems knew they’d cheated the election and, as guilty people do, they were scared of getting caught. But now that they can no longer justify thousands of troops standing as security outside of the Capitol building and paint Trump supporters as violent people, the show is finally over.
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