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National Guard’s post-riot deployment cost at least $480 million

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing at U.S. Capitol Building. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
February 07, 2021

The rapid buildup of National Guard troops in Washington after riots at the Capitol two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration cost almost half a billion dollars, according to two officials familiar with the situation.

Approximately 25,000 National Guard from across the country were sent to Washington after the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol, which led to at least five deaths and briefly interrupted congressional efforts to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

The cost of that deployment — to be detailed soon by Army officials — was at least $480 million, according to the people, who asked not to be identified since the information isn’t yet public.

The National Guard costs don’t include expenses born by the city of Washington, which rushed police to the Capitol in the hours after a mob of then President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the legislative building, forcing officials including then Vice President Mike Pence to take shelter.

The deployment — the largest in Washington since the Civil War — led the U.S. capital to take on the appearance of an armed camp, with swaths of downtown closed to traffic and pedestrians. The Pentagon estimated last month that about 5,000 National Guard soldiers will remain in Washington through mid-March at the request of U.S. Capitol Police.

Officials at Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the city’s costs as a result of the riots and pre-inauguration security boost.

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© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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