Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday that the National Guard deployment is scheduled to be effective until mid-March.
“The plan right now is to end this mission in the capital region by the middle of March. That’s still the plan. That’s what we’ve sort of resourced ourselves out to,” Kirby told the outlet.
“We’re obviously constantly in touch with the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, and D.C. officials about the need, about the requirement, and we’re always evaluating it.”
In regards to reports about the National Guard staying until fall of this year, Kirby said “there was some internal discussions about hypothetical, potential future operations.”
“The Pentagon is a planning organization, that’s what we do. We plan for all kinds of contingencies that actually don’t ever happen,” he added.
Kirby said last week that the estimated cost for National Guard protection at the Capitol complex through March 15 will cost taxpayers a total of $483 million. $284 million to cover personnel and $199 million to cover operations.
On Monday, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) joined with other House Republicans in asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to explain why the National Guard needed to be deployed in Washington until possibly fall of this year.
“The only briefings that we’ve had, through the media really, is that the troops may be staying there through the fall,” McClain told Fox in a Feb. 15 interview. “Which is extremely concerning because myself and several of my colleagues have asked Nancy Pelosi for a briefing as to: ‘Why do we need these troops here?’ And we have received zero information, zero.”
“Just tell me why. I feel like there’s a boogeyman under my bed,” said McClain, who sits in the House Armed Services Committee.
“Washington, D.C., is an absolute ghost town. I feel completely safe. There’s no one there.”
Kirby said on Feb. 12 that there were more than 6,000 troops deployed in Washington.
“I think the number today is—I don’t want to guess. It’s 6,061. As of today, they continue to support the FBI, the Capitol Police, the Park Police, Secret Service, and the city of Washington, and I know of no changes to the mission requirements,” said Kirby.
In late January, 42 House Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi urging her to remove the barricades surrounding the Capitol.
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops were deployed to Washington to assist with security in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.