The U.S. House of Representatives is introducing an additional layer of security at parking garages below House office buildings, according to a letter circulated on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
The Capitol’s Sergeant at Arms is bringing the House office buildings’ parking garages within its "secure perimeter," according to the Committee on Administration, which oversees the Capitol complex.
Current security procedures allow drivers who park in the garages in the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon office buildings to enter the buildings from the garage without going through metal detectors or running bags through x-ray machines.
Drivers must have the proper staff identification and parking permits to enter the garage. But employees who park in any of the House office building garages are not subject to the same security screening as employees and visitors who enter on foot.
That will change on Feb. 22, according to the Administration Committee.
[B]eginning on Monday, February 22nd, the first phase of screening will be introduced at garage entry points into Longworth, Cannon, and Ford House Office Buildings. The second phase will encompass Rayburn and is expected to begin in the fall in coordination with the Rayburn Garage Renovation project. When complete, staff will be required to utilize any of seven (7) access points in the garages to access the House Office Buildings. The goal of this initiative is to ensure 100% screening for everyone accessing the House Office Buildings.
We have granted approval and are extending our full support to the Sergeant at Arms during the execution of this project. We understand that there may be some delays and inconvenience to staff during the transition, and we thank you ahead of time for your patience as we work toward full security screening. The safety and security of Members, staff and visitors is of utmost importance to us, and we strongly encourage all Members to join us in supporting the Sergeant at Arms in the garage security initiative.