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House Republicans ask for briefing on threats keeping National Guard in DC

The Hill logo The Hill 1/27/2021 Jordan Williams
a group of people in uniform standing in front of a building: House Republicans ask for briefing on threats keeping National Guard in DC © Getty Images House Republicans ask for briefing on threats keeping National Guard in DC

House Republicans are asking acting Army Secretary John Whitley for a briefing on threats to the U.S. Capitol that are keeping the National Guard in Washington, D.C., through mid-March.

A coalition of 11 GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) sent a letter on Wednesday to Whitley for information about the "the ongoing threats to the Capitol, justification of the decision for a significant troop presence through mid- March, and plans for troop utilization during the time period."

The letter comes after Pentagon officials said Monday that about 5,000 National Guardsmen will remain in D.C. through mid-March, when former President Trump's impeachment trial is expected to end.

Whitley said during a news conference that the Pentagon received four requests for the Guard to remain in D.C. over fears of threats to officials and the city after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that resulted in five deaths.

"The Guard has endured unprecedented stress on the force in the past year given COVID-19, social unrest, natural disasters and ongoing overseas requirements. The National Guard should be used as an option of absolute last resort," the lawmakers wrote.

"We are seeking clarification and justification on behalf of the National Guard men and women that have kept us safe over the past month and year."

The letter was also signed by GOP Reps. William Timmons (S.C.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Lance Gooden (Texas), Chip Roy (Texas), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.), Gregory Murphy (N.C.), Dusty Johnson (S.D.) and Russ Fulcher (Idaho).

Roughly 25,000 guardsmen were deployed to D.C. for President Biden's inauguration due to security concerns after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The number of guards have since shrunk to 13,000, and the number is expected to reach 7,000 by the end of the week.

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