National Guard troops were sent back to the Capitol to rest after being asked to move, a request that sent some to a garage, officials said.
Senators expressed outrage Thursday night after Politico reported that Capitol police had asked troops to move the rest area and some were in the garage.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Illinois, said by 10:30 p.m., Capitol police had apologized to guard personnel who had been released back into the complex Thursday night.
Army Brig. General Janeine Birckhead, commander of the inaugural task force, confirmed that troops had exited the parking lot and back to the Capitol and would rest near the Emancipation Hall ahead.
Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq war that lost its legs when a helicopter piloted a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed in 2004, said the expulsion of troops from the Capitol was “unrealistic.”
“I can’t believe that these same brave servicemen we wanted to defend our Capitol and our Constitution for the last two weeks would receive an unceremonious order to vacate the building,” Duckworth tweeted.
Thousands of guards remain in Washington after being called in to help secure Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday and after a deadly riot by a pro-Trump mob in the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The National Guard of Washington, D.C., said earlier Thursday that Capitol police had been asked to relocate the rest area.
“As Congress meets and traffic on foot increases and business is conducted, Capitol police have asked troops to move their rest area. They have been temporarily moved to the garage of the Targud Marshall Courthouse with heating and toilets,” the DC guards said. .
“We remain flexible and agile forces to ensure the safety and security of the Capitol and surrounding areas,” it said.
Security details require rest and relaxation for troops to escape the weather, DC guards said.
Capitol police did not respond immediately to a request for comment after senators said the situation was resolved and an apology was given.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, has vowed to get to the bottom of the situation.
Some lawmakers had suggested that soldiers stay in their offices.
“Congress is meeting, but the buildings are still closed to the public, so there is enough space for military breaks in them,” Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, who is also a veteran and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, tweeted.
In the days after the uprising and before the presidential inauguration, soldiers were seen resting on duty on the marble floors of the Capitol.
National Guard troops from across the country were sent to Washington to provide support. Almost 26,000 have been sent.
Approximately 10,600 were on duty Thursday afternoon and it was agreed to send 15,000 home as soon as possible, the National Guard Bureau said.