Report: House Chamber Is Becoming a 'Safe Room'

Bulletproof doors are being installed during 2-week recess
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2021 4:34 AM CDT
Report: House Chamber Is Becoming a 'Safe Room'
In this Jan. 6, 2021 photo, Capitol Police officers secure a door as rioters try to break into the House Chamber.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

If the Capitol is breached again while lawmakers are in the House chamber, they may already be in a safe room. The House is in recess for two weeks, and Axios reports that workers are fortifying the chamber with bulletproof doors and other measures. Workers seen removing doors from one of the 15 entrances to the gallery said the new doors would be fortified with the bulletproof material Kevlar. Another five sets of doors lead directly into the chamber. When rioters invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6, Capitol Police officers used furniture to barricade the chamber's doors.

During the attack, rioters came very close to smashing their way into the House chamber, the Washington Post reports. California woman Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed as she tried to climb through a smashed window into the hallway outside the chamber. A report issued after the attack urged the Architect of the Capitol to "expedite repair and hardening of vulnerable windows and doors," the Hill reports. A spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, however, tells Axios that the door replacement was planned before the riot. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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