Mar 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Pentagon extends National Guard deployment at Capitol

A National Guard soldier outside of the Capitol building on March 6.
A National Guard soldier outside of the Capitol building on March 6. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 2,300 National Guard troops will support Capitol Police efforts in Washington, D.C. through at least May 23 after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request to extend their deployment on Tuesday.

The state of play: The approval for continued deployment represents a 50% reduction to the current number of troops at the Capitol, which has been occupied by the Guard since the Jan. 6 attack by pro-Trump supporters.

Context: Congress is still receiving threats months after the insurrection.

  • The House canceled voting plans for a day last week after a report from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned of threats against Democratic lawmakers.

What they're saying: "During this extended period, DOD officials will work with the U.S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

  • "This decision was made after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness."
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