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Tipsheet

Senate Approves Hagerty Resolution to Reopen Capitol to Public After Two Years of COVID Lockout

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) secured victory for his resolution to reopen the U.S. Capitol and Senate office buildings to the American people on Tuesday afternoon after Democrats repeatedly blocked previous attempts to allow the public back into the halls of government after nearly two years of COVID restrictions.

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Speaking on the Senate floor before asking for agreement on his resolution, Sen. Hagerty noted that he "rose in this chamber two weeks ago to again urge the Senate reopen the U.S. Capitol and Senate Office Buildings" but Democrats blocked his resolution. "Two weeks later, it's become even more clear that the American public is tired of government mandates and COVID shutdowns."

"These big government lockdowns and mandates have caused irreparable damage that will be felt for decades to come," Hagerty continued. "Even the Biden administration is seeing the poll numbers and they're adjusting the science accordingly," he added of the CDC and Capitol Physician's changed guidance on masking.

"Amazingly, all of this happened just in time for the State of the Union," Hagerty said, highlighting the very convenient timing of the revisions that show "the only science that's being followed here is the political science."

"They shouldn't have to know somebody to meet their representative," Hagerty said of Americans wanting to meet with their elected officials. "It's time for the lockdown on democracy to come to an end," he said before asking his Senate colleagues "to rejoin reality."

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Hagerty also called on his colleagues across the Capitol in the House of Representatives to pass a similar resolution "so that all parts of the Capitol Complex are open to the American people" and said he stands ready "to work with my colleagues and with the Capitol Police to implement this resolution so that we can welcome the American people back into their Capitol as soon as possible."

Hagerty has been consistent in his calls for Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and authorities on Capitol Hill to again allow the American people — constituents of those who serve in the Senate — to meet with their representatives and have a voice in Congress. "Why don't Democrats want to re-open the Capitol to the American people?" Hagerty asked last week. "They need to wake up to the fact that Americans are sick of endless lockdowns and the condescending message that it sends to the American people, and let them back into their Capitol!"

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Hagerty also pointed out this week that while lawmakers and Biden administration officials will be gathering Tuesday night for Biden's State of the Union address in the Capitol Building — once again surrounded by a metal wall — the American people have been prevented from walking its halls for nearly two years.

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