Cawthorn visits National Guard soldiers moved to parking garage

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn visits with National Guard troops stationed at the U.S. Capitol.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (NC-11) made a late-night visit to National Guard soldiers remaining at the U.S. Capitol after they were moved to a garage after previously being allowed to use the building for rest breaks.

“I just visited the soldiers who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office. No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the U.S. Capitol while I work in Congress. Our Troops deserve better,” Cawthorn said in a tweet.

An Associated Press story said approximately 10,600 of the 26,000 deployed to D.C. for the inauguration remained at the Capitol.

The Washington Post and Politico reported that hundreds of Guard troops were forced out of areas of the Capitol they had been using for rest breaks and were relocated to a nearby garage. Photos of the troops in the garage drew outrage from lawmakers.

The U.S. Secret Service announced that the special security event for the inauguration officially ended at noon Thursday.

The Guard said that it may take several days to make all the arrangements to return the 15,000 home, but it should be complete in five to 10 days. Guard members will have to turn in equipment, make travel plans and go through COVID-19 screening.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.