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Rep. Norton: Razor wire fencing around Capitol makes it look like a 'concentration camp'

"There are fewer and fewer credible threats," said Norton, who has proposed a bill that would prevent the fencing from becoming permanent. 

Updated: February 20, 2021 - 11:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting member of the House representing the District of Columbia, is calling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take down the razor wire fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol, comparing it to a "concentration camp."

U.S. Capitol Police requested that congressional leaders allow them to keep the fencing in place until September. Norton, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has proposed a bill that would prevent the fencing from becoming permanent. 

"There are fewer and fewer credible threats," Norton told Just the News during an interview. "Keeping it up until September shows that the Capitol Police, who could have prevented much that happened on January the 6th simply by calling in reinforcements from the dozen or so police forces, are now doubling down. The mob that came was summoned virtually by the president. He's gone. They have now seen that even if a fence isn't up, that the police forces know what to do.

"I've always said when it becomes clear that there are not threats sufficient to keep this fence that I'll take it down. Now that we're already seeing calls to take down the wire, the wiring around it, which makes it look like a concentration camp, certainly that can be done now. What are we afraid of, our own shadow?"

"And even if my Republican friends are saying take it down, I think you now see a bipartisan call for getting the Capitol looking once again like the Capitol," Norton said, alluding to a letter that more than 40 GOP lawmakers recently sent to Pelosi asking for the fence to come down.

Norton said if the fence does not come down soon, she will continue to reach out to her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support her bill to remove the fence.

"You shouldn't need a bill to take down the fence," she said. "But if the fence doesn't come down, I'm going to move this bill to the House. And I think I can get into both Houses. I think the entire House and Senate are embarrassed to be fenced in this way." 

Norton vowed to hold hearings in the House if the razor wire portion of the fencing does not come down now.

"Let's get the razor wire down, and let's make sure you don't keep extending the time for this fence to remain, or I will hold hearings to find out why," she said.