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U.S. Senate adopts measure to reopen...

U.S. Senate adopts measure to reopen Nation’s Capitol and Senate Buildings to visitors

By: Sarah Ulmer - March 2, 2022

The resolution was cosponsored by Senator’s Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith and says that restricted access is ‘illogical and unacceptable‘ as more states continue to open from COVID constraints. 

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) were part of cosponsored the resolution that supported the reopening of the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Senate buildings, which were closed to the public in March 2020 amid COVID-19 fears.

The legislation was introduced by Senator Bill Hagerty (R).

“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 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.”

The resolution would allow the public to access to Senate facilities that include stores, restaurants, and other public venues.

The resolution reads:

“Despite the existence of COVID-19, tens of thousands of people routinely gather across the country for sporting, entertainment, worship, and other events. 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.”

Within existing public visitation restrictions, Wicker and Hyde-Smith have welcomed in-person meetings in their Washington, D.C., offices for several months.

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.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: