“We’re going to have to open the Capitol back up. But as a former federal prosecutor… it all has to be threat-based,” said U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
DALLAS — Days after the U.S. House of Representatives closed because of a threat of violence from QAnon conspiracy theorists, Congressman Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, said the U.S. Capitol now faces a second threat of violence during President Biden’s first State of the Union address.
“There’s another threat coming up for the joint session of Congress when the president will be speaking in March,” McCaul said on Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics.
The president’s address to a joint session of Congress has yet to be scheduled. But the administration has reportedly indicated that President Biden will make the address after the final passage of the latest COVID stimulus bill, which might happen in the next week or so.
McCaul, the Republican leader in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, represents the 10th congressional district, a wide swath of central Texas stretching between Austin and Houston.
But how and when to relax the security posture is still being debated in Washington, D.C.
In addition, many are asking whether extremists win if their threats force lawmakers to suspend their work.
“I think at some point we’re going to have to open the Capitol back up. But as a former federal prosecutor, one that did counterterrorism, it all has to be threat-based. I had to take that threat seriously after what happened on Jan. 6, but I did feel a lot safer because we did have razor wire and the National Guard,” McCaul explained.
The congressman has called on former President Donald Trump to tell his supporters to stand down.
Voting Against COVID-19 Relief
In the television interview, McCaul also defended his decision to vote against the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill. It passed the House in a party-line vote and will come back to the House now that the Senate made changes and passed it, as well.
With the Texas unemployment rate at 7.2% – higher than the national average – McCaul was asked why he opposed financial assistance that Texans need right now.
“Well, because only about 9% actually dealt with the vaccine and delivery of the vaccine and was COVID related. There was so much other stuff in there that had absolutely nothing to do with it and you’re talking…