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Wicker, Hyde-Smith join effort to...

Wicker, Hyde-Smith join effort to reopen U.S. Capitol and Senate buildings to visitors

By: Anne Summerhays - February 15, 2022

Senators cosponsor resolution saying restricted access is ‘illogical & unacceptable’ as the nation reopens from COVID constraints

Today, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) announced they have cosponsored a resolution supporting the reopening of the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Senate buildings. Senate office buildings and the spaces within the U.S. Capitol under Senate jurisdiction, have been closed since March 2020 amid COVID-19 fears.

The resolution states that since March of 2020, the people have learned how to safely gather and enter public places despite the existence of COVID–19 and have had the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID–19 for more than a year.

It says that the American people, including Members of Congress, routinely use crowded public transportation vehicles, including airplanes and trains and that Americans have long since resumed working around co-workers, customers, and others. It also says that tens of thousands of people gather across the country for sporting, entertainment, worship, and other events and stores, restaurants, and other public places have successfully welcomed the public since 2020.

“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.”

Senator Wicker said that he has opposed efforts to keep the U.S. Captiol closed to the public indefinitely.

“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,” Senator 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.”

Senator Hyde-Smith stated that access to elected representatives is an important part of our country’s democratic process.

“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,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “Access to our elected representatives is an important part of our democratic process, and the Senate should again be open to receive our constituents.”

You can view a full copy of the resolution below:

Resolution supporting the reopening of the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Senate buildings by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth.