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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer Vows To Fire Senate Sergeant at Arms

Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer makes his way to speak to reporters during a break in the Senate impeachment proceedings on Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he plans to fire the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Michael Stenger, the highest-ranked law enforcement officer in the Senate, once Democrats regain control of the upper chamber.

This decision comes on the heels of one of the darkest days in congressional history as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building in its largest security breach by a mob since the War of 1812. The events resulted in a woman being shot and killed by Capitol police.

"If Senate Sergeant Arms Stenger hasn't vacated the position by then, I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate," Schumer said in a statement to NPR.

Schumer is poised to become the Senate majority leader because two Democrats, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, won both their Senate runoff elections Tuesday in Georgia.

Lawmakers are taking additional steps in response to the security issues. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already called for a "painstaking investigation."

"Yesterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government," McConnell said in a statement Thursday.

A "7-foot non-scalable fence" will be built around the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. The fence will stay up for 30 days. Over 6,000 members of the National Guard will also deploy to the D.C. area over the weekend.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.