- Taxpayers will have to pay for the high levels of damage that rioters caused in the US Capitol on Wednesday because the site isn’t covered by insurance, industry sources told Reuters.
- “Taxpayers will be on the hook for repairs to the Capitol,” Stephen Ellis, the president of the watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said after the building was left covered in litter, graffiti, and broken glass.
- It is not yet known how much the cleanup will cost.
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Taxpayers will foot the bill for damage caused to the US Capitol from Wednesday’s siege because the site isn’t covered by insurance, industry sources told Reuters.
It’s unknown how much it will cost to clean and repair damage to the building in Washington, DC, which was vandalized during the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump. Rioters littered the Capitol with broken glass, banners, and used cigarettes. Furniture and walls were left covered in blood, graffiti, and pepper spray.
Industry and policy sources told Reuters that the Architect of the Capitol, which maintains the buildings, grounds, and monuments of Capitol Hill, would most likely have to pay for some of the repairs. The sources noted that federal agencies didn’t usually carry insurance.
“Taxpayers will be on the hook for repairs to the Capitol,” Stephen Ellis, the president of the watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, told Reuters.
The riot at the Capitol disrupted a joint session of Congress that was being held Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. Five people died during the chaos: one police officer who authorities say died from injuries sustained while responding to the mob; one woman who was fatally shot by the police; and three others who suffered medical emergencies.
The attack was the worst breach of the Capitol since the British burned the building in 1814.
During the insurrection, rioters broke dozens of windows and doors to gain access to the building. Law enforcement tried to prevent this using pepper spray, which has stained the Capitol walls orange, and some seemingly boarded up broken windows to prevent more people from entering.
Once inside, the mob broke furniture and vandalized offices.
Read more: Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote count
Some broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and smashed mirrors, and at least one person urinated inside the building, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told WNYC public radio.
Law enforcement regained control of the Capitol within hours, but the building was left littered with trash and full of damage. This included broken glass, used cigarettes, and blood spread across the face of a presidential bust, as well as windows and doors with bullet holes.
Once the building was secure, a significant amount of maintenance workers and law enforcement began cleaning the site, the journalist Samantha-Jo Roth reported.
The Capitol is more than 200 years old. Construction of the original building was completed in 1800, though 14 years later the burning of Washington meant significant repairs were needed, and the building was temporarily out of use.
The National Park Service declared the site a National Historic Landmark in 1960.