After being booted from the Capitol on Thursday, National Guard troops who were brought in as additional security personnels during the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as president found themselves sleeping in an unheated garage for hours, which prompted an uproar among lawmakers who scrambled to move them back.
The said troops were among those more than 20,000 National Guard personnel who provided security for the now president Biden in his Inauguration on Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, the spokesman for the Washington D.C., branch of the National Guard, Capt. Edwin Nieves Jr. shared on Thursday afternoon that the troops were relocated to the nearby Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building.
The guard in D.C. mentioned that on early Friday morning, the soldiers had been moved back to the Capitol from the parking garage.
Moreover, Captain Nieves shared that they would take future breaks near Emancipation Hall, which is also part of the Capitol Complex.
Captain Nieves also stated that the Guard troops had been temporarily moved out of the Capitol on Thursday afternoon at request of the Capitol Police due to the increase on foot traffic as Congress came back into session.
The Captain did not specify as to how many soldiers had been moved during that period.
On Friday morning when asked for a comment regarding the incident, the Capitol Police could not be reached immediately.
Moreover, two troops among the National Guard, spoke in an interview with a condition of anonymity, shared that they had been relocated without explanation and that they were placed there without electrical power, heat or adequate restroom facilities.
A soldier among the troop estimated that up to 1,000 troops have shared in just a portable restroom outside the garage.
The soldier also shared that there is zero guidance on mission, the length of the mission, nothing.
In addition, the soldiers also have mentioned that their fellow troops were breathing in exhaust fumes because they were placed at the garage of Thurgood Marshall center, and it was still in use for parking.
On the other hand, Captain Nieves contradicted to the previous comments of the troops and stated that the garage where they were placed had heat and restrooms available, Washington Post reported.
The reports of move hae prompted protests from lawmakers from both parties, which includes minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is a Republican, and Democrat Representative of New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Some lawmakers even offered their offices as a place to be used where they can house the National Guard troops.
Democratic Senator of Arizona, Mark Kelly also wrote on Twitter that this is an unacceptable incident and it must be fixed.
Based on a report, up to 5,000 troops were kept in the garage with just a single power outlet, without internet and with just one bathroom.
Pictures of the situation of the troops in the garage also circulated online.
The soldiers do have hotel rooms, however, based on their shift pattern, it means that they cannot easily return to their rooms during their rest breaks, Daily Mail reported.