Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled a resolution to resume the opening of the U.S. Capitol to the public, including restoring the House of Representatives gallery where visitors can watch the legislation in action.
They said businesses, stadiums, museums and almost all government buildings across the country have reopened to the public, even if Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not allow citizens into the House of Representatives.
“It has been 719 days since Speaker Pelosi closed the People’s House to the public. This far exceeds the time of any previous closure in the more than 200-year history of the Capitol, ”lawmakers wrote in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The resolution was passed after Mrs. Pelosi, a Democrat from California, on Tuesday revoked the mandate for masks in the hall for President Biden’s speech on the state of the Union. It was introduced by the Republican leadership and lawmakers of the Republican Party, which are members of the Administrative Committee overseeing the Capitol complex.
In addition, lawmakers said the Senate was ahead of the House to resume work. The Upper House first resumed limited tours a few months ago and decided to further expand access to public tours later this month.
“Just last night, the president himself said that ‘COVID-19 should no longer control our lives’ in front of a crowd of hundreds of people in the House of Representatives, but that’s not the reality on Capitol Hill,” Republican lawmakers said. They added that “in order to truly serve the people, we must make this institution accessible to the public.”
The resolution was co-authored by House of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalis of Louisiana, Conference Chair Elise Stefanick of New York and House of Representatives Rating Committee Rodney Davis of Illinois, Brian Style of Wisconsin and Wisconsin and Brian Style of Wisconsin.
Last month, several House Democrats began breaking into the ranks and asked why the lower house is not yet open to the public.
Ms. Pelosi said her decision to close the Capitol to the public was in accordance with security protocols regarding COVID-19 from the attending physician’s office.
She used the same reasoning when she blocked the press’s access to the speaker’s lobby outside the chamber, where journalists and lawmakers meet. After the territory was banned for more than a year, the zone was reopened in June 2021, but still on a limited basis.
Mr McCarthy told The Washington Times that all COVID-imposed measures imposed by the Democratic majority restricting access by the House of Representatives would be lifted if Republicans take the hammer in November. This includes resuming work in the speaker’s lobby before conditions before the pandemic.
“We will open it. We will bring people back to the House of Peoples, ”Mr McCarthy said.
Ms. Pelosi did not respond to a request for comment.