October 17, 2023

Van Hollen, Wicker, Norton Introduce Bill Prohibiting Permanent Fencing Around Capitol Complex

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced the No Fencing at the United States Capitol Complex Act, legislation to prohibit funding for permanent fencing around the U.S. Capitol complex.

“We can’t ever allow the U.S. Capitol to become a fortress where the American people are left on the outside looking in. We can and should secure Congress without walling it off. This bill is about making sure the people can always safely access the heart of our democracy and impact the decisions made in our nation’s halls of power,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Permanent fencing would send an un-American message to the nation and the world, by transforming our democracy from one that is accessible and of the people to one that is exclusive and fearful of its own citizens,” Norton said. “Already, the distance between government and the people has grown, with trust in government at historic lows. We should not entrench that distance further by placing intimidating barriers between ourselves as public servants and the people we serve, especially when such barriers are neither effective nor necessary.”

Senator Van Hollen and Congresswoman Norton first introduced this bill in early 2021. Text of the legislation is available here.