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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visits National Guard troops deployed at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 29. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Residents in neighborhoods surrounding the U.S. Capitol are wrestling with "life in a fortress" — as fences and checkpoints guarded by thousands of National Guard members have gone up since a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The new security is not going away anytime soon, as National Guard members will continue to support local law enforcement in the city through at least mid-March and Capitol Police have suggested making the fencing around the Capitol permanent.

What they're saying: District of Columbia Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Thursday said she opposes permanent fencing and additional troops in the city.

  • "When the time is right, the fencing around the White House and U.S. Capitol, just like the plywood we’ve seen on our businesses for too long, will be taken down," the mayor tweeted.

The big picture: Some Capitol Hill residents have rallied behind the National Guard members, bringing them snacks and hot coffee, while other locals have avoided the encampments entirely, according to the Post.

  • Before the Capitol riot, experts warned that D.C. is becoming a hotbed for political violence as confrontations between far-right extremists and counter-protesters skyrocketed throughout 2020.

Go deeper

Capitol Police officer who died after pro-Trump riot will lie in honor

A vigil honoring United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 28. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died in early January from injuries sustained while responding to the siege on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Friday evening.

Why it matters: Lying in honor is a final tribute reserved only for private citizens who have rendered distinguished service to the nation, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

6 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.