As many as 5,000 National Guardsmen who were kicked out of the Capitol and banished to a parking garage the day after President Joe Biden’s inauguration have now been allowed to return following a public outcry. The news was confirmed by Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, the inauguration task force commander, who was quoted by a spokesman as saying the “troops are out of the garage and back into the Capitol building as authorized by the USCP Watch Commander.” “Our troops are going to hotel rooms or other comfortable accommodations at the end of their shifts,” Birkhead said. The news came after a Politico report about thousands of Guardsmen being shunted into a parking garage with just one bathroom sparked outrage among lawmakers.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” one of the National Guardsmen was quoted saying. National Guard spokesperson Maj. Matt Murphy told Politico, “As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area.” More than 20,000 National Guardsmen were stationed in the capital following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building and in anticipation of the inauguration.