The National Guard members stationed in Washington D.C., who could be seen resting in a cramped part of a parking garage late Thursday night, have now been let back into the Capitol Building where they have been staying for two weeks.
CBS News reports the controversy began around 3 p.m. Thursday when Capitol Police asked the guardsmen to relocate since they were resting in hallways during a time with increased foot traffic in the building. CAPD said in a statement just hours earlier that the department "immensely appreciates the integral support of the U.S. National Guard in helping to secure the Capitol Complex leading up to, and including the Inaugural ceremony." Sometime after, the guardsmen were asked to leave the premises.
The pictures of the National Guard members resting, sleeping, and eating in the garage quickly began to circulate. Lawmakers from all sides of the aisle started tweeting their disgust for how the soldiers were being treated.
National Guard Bureau spokesman Major Matt Murphy told CBS News that the arrangements were made for a reason.
"As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area," Murphy said. "They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities."
Some tweets say that in that garage staging area, the guardsmen were cold, without internet, and didn’t have access to enough restrooms for everyone.
Oklahoma Senator James Lankford was among many outraged lawmakers. He retweeted an article from Politico with the caption “This is completely unacceptable. There is plenty of room in the senate office buildings to use for the times they need to rest. They need to be allowed to rest in the buildings immediately. They’re taking care of us, we need to take care of them.”
Other lawmakers tweeted as well stating that the National Guard can use their own personal offices to rest so they can be warm and comfortable. Others tweeted they were making phone calls to everyone they could think of to get to the bottom of the situation.
It is important to note they were not put there to sleep overnight, but just take their breaks but as of early this morning there are back inside the Capitol where they have been for two weeks.