The Capitol Police in the coming days will begin scaling back and in some cases removing fencing erected around the Capitol after the Jan. 6 riot, a Democratic aide familiar with the plans confirmed on Sunday, a visible milestone as Congress tries to return to normal.
The agency, working with the architect of the Capitol, will take steps beginning this week to first move an inner perimeter of fencing closer to the Capitol building and remove looped razor wire strung atop it, according to the aide, who spoke anonymously to discuss security plans that were still private. The agency will then proceed to remove altogether a secondary, outer perimeter next week, allowing Independence and Constitution Avenues to reopen to traffic for the first time since January.
It was unclear on Sunday exactly how long the inner perimeter fencing might remain in place, as lawmakers and the law enforcement agency continue to plot a path forward to ensure there is no repeat of the deadly rampage. The Democratic aide familiar with the plans said it would stay in place for at least as long as it takes to make security repairs to the Capitol building.
The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Imposing and impenetrable, the fence has become a charged political symbol in the two months since the attack, barring most Americans from the seat of government and causing headaches for the thousands of staff members, journalists and lawmakers who work inside the Capitol. In recent weeks, lawmakers in both parties, wary about the message it sent the country, had been agitating for its removal and a broader reconsideration of the security posture.
costing taxpayers almost $2 million a week.