Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s “comfortable” returning to the U.S. Capitol next week after the Easter Recess, despite last Friday’s deadly attack on the building’s perimeter.
A man hit two Capitol police officers with his car and rammed a barricade, killing one officer and wounding the other. The suspect was shot and killed. It’s the first significant incident since the Capitol was stormed by rioters January 6th.
“There’s some talk about increasing the number of Capitol policemen, but of course, that isn’t going to happen overnight,” Grassley says. “There’s a lot of concern about our Capitol policemen being overworked, working 12 or more hours a day, sometimes seven days a week.”
While large concrete barriers are in place on the roads and chain link fences ring the Capitol, Grassley fears the symbolic message being sent. “I think that having a fence around the Capitol that would signify some sort of division between elected representatives and our constituents would be the wrong thing to do,” he says.
The body of the Capitol police officer who was killed, William “Billy” Evans, will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on April 13th. “The police on Capitol Hill are doing incredible work,” Grassley says. “We must thank capitol police and their families for their daily sacrifice.”
The January 6th riots at the Capitol resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer.