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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Lawmakers Overseeing Capitol Police Consulted Israeli Knesset On Security Measures

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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) on Friday revealed lawmakers have looked to legislatures of countries that have faced “a lot more threats than we’ve had,” including the Israeli Knesset, as a guide for improving Capitol security amid increasing security threats.

Key Facts

During a virtual press briefing in the wake of another attack on the Capitol, Ryan, the chair of a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police, said he and other committee members held a call with the Israeli legislature last week.

Ryan said he and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) wanted to see “what do they do in Israel, around the Knesset,” and “is there something that we can learn from them?”

Ryan said lawmakers would be “reviewing everything” about Capitol security, including fencing erected in the wake of Jan. 6, though he noted it appears the attacker drove through a gap in the fence.

Like the gradual draw-down of National Guard troops at the Capitol, the fencing has been scaled back in recent weeks amid increasing bipartisan pressure from lawmakers, with Capitol Police most recently removing a fence around the outer perimeter of the campus.

Ryan called the fence an “eyesore” that “sucks,” adding,  “the question is: is the environment safe enough to be able to take it down?”

Key Background

A Capitol Police officer and a suspect are both dead after the suspect rammed his car into a security barricade and charged at police with a knife, Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman said Friday. The Capitol Police officer was identified as William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, while the suspect is reportedly a 25-year-old Indiana resident named Noah Green.

Crucial Quote

“It has become clear the Capitol is increasingly seen as a target,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “In that context I believe it is important that we review all security provisions thoroughly and take responsive measures that should prove necessary.”

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