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CEDAR RAPIDS — Three days after being sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ashley Hinson spent several hours locked in her office while the Capitol was under siege by a violent mob.
One hundred days later, visible scars of the damage done to the Capitol remain, including broken windows and statues covered in plastic. Earlier this week, Hinson joined other members to pay their respects to Capitol Police officer Billy Evans, who was killed April 2 when he was hit by a car that rammed into a barricade outside the Senate.
However, the Marion Republican says she feels safe going to work in the Capitol and the Longworth Office Building, which sits across Independence Avenue from the Capitol.
“I got dropped off this morning right by my workplace and felt completely safe coming to work,” Hinson said Friday. Agencies involved in protecting the Capitol complex are continuing their discussions of the attack and their responses, and the House Administration Committee has held hearings on the Jan. 6 events. “We're being proactive in moving forward with additional safety measures as needed,” she said.
There’s still an increased police presence and National Guard soldiers protecting the Capitol complex, “but I feel safe,” she said.
Hinson would like to see the fencing around the Capitol removed because it sends the wrong message.
“This is the people's house,” Hinson said. “We need to be safe, but I still think the fence sends the wrong message.”
Hinson, who traveled to Texas last week to get a firsthand look at the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border, jabbed at the Biden administration’s handling of the situation there.
“Quite frankly, for a long time, it was easier to get across the border illegally than it was to come to work at the Capitol,” she said.
So she was pleased that a fence around the Longworth building has been removed.
“I'm hopeful that the fence around the Capitol will come down soon and we can return operations to normal,” Hinson said.
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