A unit that has been residing in the Dirksen Senate Office building was forced to rest in a nearby parking garage, Politico reported, citing one of the Guardsmen.
“We feel incredibly betrayed,” the Guardsman told the outlet. “Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage,” the Guardsman said.
Another Guardsman confirmed that they were told to rest during their 12-hour shifts outside the Capitol and in parking garages.
One of the guards told the outlet that it may have been due to a complaint that some troops were not wearing masks.
“We have strict guidance that masks are to be worn at all times unless soldiers are eating and drinking,” the Guardsman stressed.
Here’s a video from the parking garage where 5,000 members of the National Guard who were guarding the Capitol are being forced to stay. pic.twitter.com/bREUxt1tRi— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
The National Guard Bureau later said the troop had been temporarily relocated because Congress was in session.
“The National Guard continues to assist and support the US Capitol Police. As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area,” the National Guard Bureau said in a statement.
“They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities. We remain an agile and flexible force to provide for the safety and security of the Capitol and its surrounding areas.”
The situation has triggered an outcry from lawmakers, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer taking to Twitter to decry the incident, saying that he “will get to the bottom of this.”
If this is true, it's outrageous.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 22, 2021
I will get to the bottom of this.https://t.co/CNBp055A91
My office is available; the Guard is welcome to it. There is plenty of space in the US Capitol for the men and women keeping us safe. https://t.co/YAUMnRdOrt— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) January 22, 2021
Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer—why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot?— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 22, 2021
They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers. pic.twitter.com/J0R2dRC8bM
Approximately 25,000 National Guard troops were called from all 50 states to ensure safety in Washington DC during President Joe Biden’s inauguration due to heightened security concerns.
A National Guard spokesman later told a FOX News reporter that troops will likely be moved to the Capitol Visitors Center amid outrage over the garage situation.