Over one hundred congressional interns will reportedly send a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The letter originated in Republican South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson’s office and implored Pelosi and McCarthy to reopen the U.S. Capitol to the public, CNS News reported.
“As congressional interns from both sides of the political aisle, our love of country is a shared trait. We’d be thrilled to provide this public service once again to our constituents and fellow countrymen,” the letter said, according to CNS News.
“One of the many opportunities we as interns are afforded in a typical semester is the privilege of guiding our districts’ constituents on a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and grounds. We as a nation have faced so much in the last year, but we are approaching the light at the end of the tunnel,” the letter continued, according to CNS News. “The people are ready, and it’s time for them to see their U.S. Capitol.”
???? from @Olivia_Beavers in Huddle: “A group of House interns (yes, you heard that right) have drafted a letter on official letterhead calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to reopen the Capitol…”https://t.co/7SshicvamW pic.twitter.com/15oUErKhah
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) June 24, 2021
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that the representatives are likely to discuss reopening the Capitol this week, Politico Congressional Reporter Sarah Ferris tweeted Tuesday.
“I think we’d like to get that done,” he said according to Ferris.
Asked about reopening Capitol to public tours, Hoyer says it will likely be a conversation this week and next.
“I think we’d like to get that done.”
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) June 22, 2021
The Capitol was closed to the public on March 12, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the closure was prolonged after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, CNS News reported.
The interns argued that over 145 million Americans are fully vaccinated and that Washington D.C. has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, the outlet reported. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated their guidelines in May to allow fully vaccinated individuals to forgo a mask in most situations. (RELATED: ‘Not Based On Science’: Rep. Massie Refuses Pelosi Mask Mandate For Floor Vote)
Over a hundred House Republicans, including McCarthy, sent a letter June 15 urging Pelosi to fully reopen the Capitol, just days after D.C. had fully reopened and eased restrictions, Fox News reported.
“We write to you today to urge you to fully reopen the House of Representatives,” they wrote. “It is time for you to reopen the House and get back to serving the American people.”
Despite the CDC’s updated guidelines, Pelosi continued to enforce the House’s mask mandate. Republican Reps. Beth Van Duyne of Texas, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa and Brian Mast of Florida were fined $500 each for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor May 19.
With a current Capitol vaccination rate of 85%, the Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan lifted Pelosi’s mandatory mask mandate for fully vaccinated members June 11.
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