MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Carlos Gimenez are two members of South Florida’s congressional delegation who will watch the Joe Biden inauguration in person.
CBS4 spoke to both members of Congress on Monday, before they left, about the security concerns that exist.READ MORE: CBS4 Investigates: Man Accused Of Killing Ryan Rogers Could Have Faced Two Decades In Prison For Prior Crime
Now that they are in D.C. for the inauguration, they shared with CBS4’s Hank Tester the massive security presence they are seeing first hand.
“The Capitol complex is essentially a ghost town. The staff are on maximum telework because of COVID-19,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “And because of challenges of getting in, very fewer staffers here today.”
But it’s no ghost town outside the Capitol and the Congressional office complexes. National Guard troops and Capitol police patrol the grounds, which have been secured with concertina wire and 8-foot fences.
Members of Congress have been alerted.
“We are given specific precautions. We are being told what we need to look out for. We are under a heightened security environment in terms of our own movements,” Wasserman Schultz said.READ MORE: Glenneisha Darkins Perseveres During Art Week Despite Challenges
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It is a far different security environment for members of Congress. The Jan. 6 assault on America’s democracy has produced a historical lock down for Wednesday’s historical inauguration.
“It’s not going to be easy getting around Washington in the next couple of days,” said Rep. Gimenez.
The newly-elected representative, who is just getting settled in his new office, is looking forward to an inauguration like no other.
“Don’t know how many of my colleagues are going to be here, who will be attending and where we are going to be,” he said. “I know in pairs and six feet apart from everybody else.”
As the buildup of troops continues outside, both representatives are inside conducting business and getting set for the legislative grind which begins in earnest Monday the 25th.MORE NEWS: New Warning For Parents Regarding Omicron COVID-19 Variant
“I am confident that tomorrow will go off well. We will show the world we will have a peaceful transition of power and that the way things are done in America,” Gimenez said. “One of the reason I am up here is I want to demonstrate we are not afraid.”