Lankford, Hagerty Push to Re-open Capitol Building, Senate Office Buildings

WASHINGTON, DC­—Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN), joined by 24 of their Senate colleagues, introduced a resolution in support of re-opening the US Capitol Building and Senate office buildings to public visitation under pre-COVID policies. 

“We are a government for the people and by the people. The people should be able to access the offices of their elected officials. It is time to reopen the Senate office buildings and the Capitol building so the American people can have access to their government. America is open for business, but America’s government remains closed to the people.”

“It is long-past time for the Senate to re-open its doors to those who sent us here to represent them—the American people,” said Hagerty. “Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, vaccines have been available for over a year for those who want them, and Americans from coast to coast have learned to live their lives safely despite the pandemic. From stores to venues and most workplaces and schools, the rest of the United States has re-opened, and it’s time for the Senate to do the same.”

The Capitol and Senate office buildings have remained largely closed to the public for nearly two years, despite that most of America long ago re-opened for gatherings and regular business. This closure has restricted lawmakers’ ability to welcome constituents to their offices and to arrange for tours of the Capitol.

The resolution provides that the Senate: (1) recognizes the importance of reopening the US Capitol and Senate office buildings to public participation in the legislative process; and (2) supports returning to the pre-COVID public visitation policies for areas within Senate jurisdiction. 

A copy of the resolution can be found here

More than half of the Senate Republican Conference is sponsoring the resolution, including Senators John Thune (R-SD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Braun (R-IN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rand Paul (R-KY), John Hoeven (R-ND), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Jim Risch (R-ID).