The House chamber is currently undergoing renovations that include the addition of bulletproof doors to provide a safe room for lawmakers after the deadly Capitol insurrection earlier this year, Axios reported on Thursday.
An Axios reporter spotted workers removing doors on one of the double-doored entrances to the gallery one level above the floor of the chamber where some lawmakers huddled during the Capitol attack. According to Axios, workers said the new doors being installed are being fortified with kevlar — a synthetic material used in bulletproof vests and military helmets.
Workers told Axios that modifications to the the chamber will continue even when the House returns from recess. The House is currently in recess for two more weeks.
In a post-insurrection review of Capitol security earlier this month, retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré recommended in a task force assessment report that the Architect of the Capitol “expedite repair and hardening of vulnerable windows and doors.”
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) spokesperson Drew Hammill told Axios that the addition of bulletproof doors in the chamber was a decision made prior to the Capitol insurrection.
During the Capitol attack on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, police officers barricaded some of the floor-level doors with furniture to prevent the mob that former President Trump incited from breaking into the House chamber. House members evacuated and moved to a secure location through other doors.