The trio of Republicans said at a special hearing before the House Administrative Committee on Friday that it was time to reopen the Capitol to the public and de-politicize the rule-making process that had kept it closed for nearly two years.
“When this virus first appeared on our shores through no fault of ours in the spring of 2020, small businesses, schools and offices were forced to close,” Rep. Pete Stauber (Minnesota) said. Day Meeting of the subcommittee of the administrative board for elections.
Stauber was referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which is also known as the novel coronavirus. Deputy G.K. Butterfield (DN.C.) is the chairman of the subcommittee.
“Likewise, the United States Capitol Building, Congress halls and our office buildings have also been closed to the public for over 21 months. Now, thanks to the ingenuity and perseverance of the American people, we have adapted and found ways to get back to work while keeping our families and neighbors safe, ”Stauber continued.
“However, one seat that remains closed to the American people is the House of Representatives, the House of the People. This is unacceptable, ”he said.
The Minnesota Republican told the committee that “just five blocks from the Capitol”, the Capitol One Arena opens every night to crowds of thousands of fans of the Washington Capitals (NHL) National Hockey League and the Washington Wizards (NBA) National Basketball Association. …
“Even more absurd, the Senate restrictions are much softer, and even indoor Halloween events were held,” Stauber lamented. “There are now reports that Senate offices will be allowed to resume tours of the Capitol, while House offices are not even allowed to host large groups of our voters into our offices.”
In response to the April 2020 CCP virus pandemic, congressional officials led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California, imposed tight social distancing, mask requirements and mandatory quarantines for House members, their staff and Capitol Operations staff.
The Capitol Visitor Center was closed and members of the public were barred from entering the Capitol and nearby office buildings without special permission. Since then, access has been restricted to those with official or media credentials.
Stauber was joined by the call for the opening of the Capitol by Rep. Larry Bakshon, Indiana, a physician who has focused on the role of the Office of the General Practitioner (OAP).
“As a doctor, it shocks me when I think that doctors are forced to respond to political pressure, rather than make recommendations based on facts and medical experience. From my point of view, this has happened over and over again throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in the decision-making process on security protocol here in the House of Representatives, ”Bukshon said at the hearing.
“I believe this gave us an opportunity for this committee to redefine the role of the PCP’s office and de-politicize the office from the biased oversight of the speaker’s office – no matter which political party is in the majority,” Bukshon continued.
The Indiana Republican said he believes the OAP needs to be reorganized to isolate it from party political interests.
“The primary care physician’s office was created to be a physician on campus and serve basic medical needs, not set protocols for responding to a national pandemic. The office needs modernization to keep up with the times, ”he said.
“This is why earlier this year I introduced HR 4862, the Physician Office Independence Act, which would remove the possibility of political pressure on the physician’s office by creating a bicameral bipartisan structure very similar to that of an architect. The Capitol, which has been in operation since 1990 to appoint and supervise the work of the attending physician, ”he explained.
Pursuant to the reformed OAP process, the appointment will be valid for a 10-year term, with the possibility of reappointment thereafter.
Bukshon’s proposal was passed on to the Administrative Committee, which has not done anything since. The committee is chaired by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, California, who is also on the Special Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol. Lofgren, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, was also the House Manager for the 2020 impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), a retired pharmacist, also summoned his testimony for the opening of the Capitol, who said at the hearing that “as a medical professional, I believe the current House rules are about masking, constituent assemblies, and Guided Tours of the Capitol. too strict and downright disrespectful to the millions of Americans we all serve.
“Members of Congress are directly elected by the people. And many call the House of Representatives the “House of the People”. But people, our constituents, cannot visit our Capitol to witness their democratic work. They confine themselves to watching hearings and legislative activity on screen – the most impersonal form of participation in their government.
“The house under the leadership of the Democratic Party has closed public access. Members are prohibited from conducting tours, voters cannot visit their representative’s office in person without going through the ridiculously cumbersome login process, and they simply forget about allowing voters to visit the House of Representatives. “
Carter said the restrictions were necessary early in the pandemic, but “our knowledge has evolved. We know how to reduce the spread, and we have vaccines. So, at what point the restriction of voter participation in the democratic process is no longer linked to the virus – well, we reached that point a long time ago. ”
Two Pelosi representatives did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.