Mississippi Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith are cosponsoring a resolution aimed at reopening the U.S Capitol and Senate buildings, which have been closed to the public since March of 2020.
Both agree that citizen access to their elected representatives is an important part of the democratic process. Both have also welcomed in-person meetings in their Washington, D.C. offices for several months under existing restrictions.
“The U.S. Capitol is the People’s House, and I have long opposed heavy-handed efforts to keep the campus closed to the public indefinitely,” Wicker said. “As even national Democrats begin to roll back the strict COVID policies they have championed, it is only right for Mississippians to have access to these public buildings without delay.”
“It’s time for the Senate to do just as Mississippians and millions of others are doing, namely moving on with their lives and learning to live as safely as possible with the coronavirus” Hyde-Smith added. “Access to our elected representatives is an important part of our democratic process, and the Senate should again be open to receive our constituents.”
The resolution outlines the stark disconnect between restricted public access to Senate facilities while “the American people, including Members of Congress, routinely use crowded public transportation vehicles, including airplanes and trains.” It also notes that stores, restaurants, and other public venues now welcome the public.
“Despite the existence of COVID-19, tens of thousands of people routinely gather across the country for sporting, entertainment, worship, and other events,” the resolution states. “It is illogical and unacceptable that, despite the rest of the United States being open, the United States Capitol Building and Senate Office Buildings, buildings that belong to the people, remain largely closed to public visitation.”
Additional cosponsors of the Hagerty resolution include Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), John Kennedy (R-La.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
Click here to read a copy of the resolution.