Washington, D.C.’s one and only congresswoman pleaded with Capitol Police Saturday, to loosen security measures as the Nation’s capital braces for what could be one of the biggest snow storms in years.
“The west side of the Capitol is well known as perhaps the best place for sledding in D.C.’s high-density urban environment,” Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a statement to the federal law enforcement agency.
The D.C. congresswoman reminded the Capitol Police that she has a provision in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill that allows her to direct Capitol sledding at her discretion.
The U.S. Capitol has been under tightened security measures since the Jan. 6 attack on the building by pro-Trump supporters, with resulted in the death of five people, including one police officer. Two other police officers later took their own lives.
Security officials called in 25,000 National Guardsmen to be stationed at the Capitol during President Biden’s inauguration, and thousands of troops have remained behind in the weeks following.
But the congresswoman attempted to appeal to the Capitol Police, requesting that children, who have had “endured an extremely challenging year” with not only the coronavirus, but the recent riots that have “militarized” their neighborhood, be allowed to utilize the Capitol grounds.
“This could be the only snowstorm D.C. gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years,” Norton said. “Children and their parents should be able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city.”
Roughly 7,000 National Guardsmen have remained at the Capitol as security officials have continued concerns about potential civil unrest when the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump starts in February.
But Norton suggested they could maintain secure measures by only allowing children, and adults with children, to enter the ground on the west side of the Capitol.
“Sledding is a simple, childhood thrill. It is the least we can allow for our resilient children this winter season,” the congresswoman said Saturday.
A National Guard spokesman told Fox News Saturday night, that “Unfortunately, due to the current security posture, COVID-19 restrictions, and the deconstruction of the Inaugural platform, we cannot permit sledding on the Capitol Complex at this time.”
“We, however, look forward to welcoming sledders back in the future,” they added.
Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.
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