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After passing drastic voting legislation and a police defunding bill on Wednesday, the US House of Representatives cancelled their Thursday session over threats identified by the Capitol Police. Congress cancelled their session despite being protected by thousands of National Guard troops and a full fence around the Congressional campus.
Congress has been on high alert since the riot of Jan. 6, when their voting session to certify the Electoral College results for President Joe Biden were disrupted. A statement from the Capitol Police read simply and concisely:
“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex. We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4. We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers.
“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”
And so, Congress has decided not to go to work today. Reports from DC show a city on military lockdown, at least around Congress.
The Capitol is blocked off, again. National Guard men and women are behind the fence ahead of the possible threat for a domestic terrorist attack. We’re live on #GetUpDC starting at 5am @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/06z5sYDPqU
— Megan Rivers (@MegMRivers) March 4, 2021
The Senate has not halted its sessions, and will be debating amendments to Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act, which is intended to put a much needed cash influx into the hands of Americans, but is so full of earmarks for pet projects that it could collapse under its own weight.
Congressmen’s concerns stemming from Jan. 6 resulted in the stationing of some 25,000 National Guard troops from across the 50 states in the capital city, some of which are likely to stay at their posts guarding the citadel of democracy until September. A massive fence has also been constructed around the Capitol campus to prevent people from gaining unlawful entry.
Capitol Hill police came under heavy criticism for not containing the riot that broke out after a Trump rally at Washington, DC’s ellipse on Jan. 6. The chief of the department resigned, over 250 people were arrested, and five people died, one was a protestor shot by Capitol Police, while the other four appear to have lost their lives due to previous medical conditions that were exacerbated in the excitement.
The ongoing occupation of Washington, DC, has been called out by many conservatives, including Tucker Carlson and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL). “[The security review is] only really about two things,” Gaetz insisted. “One, hunting and destroying MAGA, and two, justifying the continued occupation of Washington DC.”
Acting House sergeant-at-arms Timothy Blodgett told Congress the threats were “concerning” and that the suspected militia group had “additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of March 4th-6th.”
It was reported that March 4 was a day that was of interest to extremists because that was originally the date of inauguration, back when it took a much longer time for people to travel to the capital to attend the ceremonies.