Politicians on both the left and right have condemned the violence and destructive behavior of the mob that breached the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, admitting that security was not well equipped to handle the riot.
While Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “salute[s] and applaud[s] those front-line U.S. Capitol Police officers who stood bravely in harm’s way,” he acknowledged that the breach in security seriously compromised the safety of many. “Yesterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government,” McConnell said in a statement. “A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow.”
“The ultimate blame for yesterday lies with the unhinged criminals who broke down doors, trampled our nation’s flag, fought with law enforcement, and tried to disrupt our democracy, and with those who incited them. But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols,” he added.
The House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro and the House Appropriations Committee’s Legislative Branch Subcommittee Chairman Tim Ryan, both Democrats, also noted the security errors.
“The coup attempt at the Capitol yesterday was instigated by President Trump and responsibility for the violence rests with him and his supporters who ransacked the People’s House,” the statement began. “However, the breach of the Capitol raises serious questions about what law enforcement did and what they should have done differently.”
DeLauro and Ryan continued: “We recognize the bravery of the Capitol Police and law enforcement officers who protected Members and essential workers in the Capitol Complex yesterday. At the same time, it is obvious that there was a severe systemic failure in securing the building’s perimeter and in the response once the building was breached.”
According to McConnell, the shortcomings that played out on Wednesday were not only unacceptable but require immediate action.
“Initial bipartisan discussions have already begun among committees of oversight and Congressional Leadership,” McConnell said.
DeLauro and Ryan said the subcommittee would also be investigating, especially considering it directed federal funding and resources totaling more than $516 million to Capitol Police for the 2021 fiscal year.
“To ensure the safety of those who work and visit here, we must get to the bottom of these breakdowns and prevent them from ever happening again,” the representatives stated. “The Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Capitol Police, is robustly investigating yesterday’s events, including with hearings to directly question key leaders about what went wrong.”
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also raised questions about the reliability of Capitol security, declaring in a press conference on Thursday that she will seek the resignation of the current Capitol Police chief.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pelosi to seek resignation of Capitol police chief, announces resignation of other key security figure.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 7, 2021