Updated Mar 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Members of the National Guard watch a checkpoint on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2021, in Washington, DC

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

The highlights of the recommendations by the Capitol review panel, appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and led by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, according to the report:

  • Mobile or retractable fencing should be erected around the Capitol and members' office buildings.
  • The Capitol Police force should be expanded by 1,100, including by filling approximately 300 current vacancies.
  • A Quick Reaction Force should be established to assist with responding to emergencies in the Capitol region to replace the current National Guard presence. Authors of the report say the National Guard "is not a permanent solution."
  • Allocate funds toward increased security for members of Congress in their home district offices and residences.
  • Expand and enhance background checks for Capitol I.D. cardholders.
  • Capitol Police headquarters are "subpar" and require "substantial renovation or replacement."
  • Some details of the report were first reported by Fox News.

What's next: Honoré, along with other experts who served on the Capitol review panel, will brief members of Congress on their recommendations Monday afternoon.

  • Retired Lt. Gens. Jeff Buchanan and Karen Gibson and retired Maj. Gens. Errol Schwartz and Linda Singh, part of the new task force assisting in the review, will participate in Monday's briefing.
  • Read the full report here.
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