Rep. Dusty Johnson talks Capitol security, inauguration

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is Wednesday, and this weekend South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson spoke with KELOLAND News about what Washington D.C. has looked like and his plans for Wednesday.

Representative Dusty Johnson says Washington D.C. has undergone a dramatic transformation since the violence at the Capitol took place.

“Clearly, we were underprepared for what happened on January 6th and now it’s amazing how much has changed. I mean, ten-foot-tall fencing, razor wire at the top establishing an outer perimeter, 20,000 National Guardsmen and women in place. I mean, we have 4,500 men and women in uniform in Afghanistan, so 20 or 25 thousand is a significant presence,” Johnson said.

All of that is in preparation for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

“Members of Congress are only allowed to bring one guest. Normally, there are 200,000 tickets given out for inaugural ceremonies. Almost no general population is going to be able to attend, that’s unfortunate, but in this kind of a security environment, in this kind of a pandemic environment, I think we all understand why they are taking extra precautions,” Johnson said.

Johnson says he feels safe.

“Because I think you’re most at risk when you’re not prepared, when you take things for granted. We are on high alert now. I’ll be attending President-elect Biden’s inauguration, I’ll be bringing my 15-year-old son with me. That’s how safe I feel like, now that we are on our A-game, D.C. is going to be,” Johnson said.

He says January 20th is going to be an opportunity for the country.

“Whether we voted for Joe Biden or not, I think this peaceful transfer of power is a real blessing to our Constitutional Democracy, our Constitutional Republic. Let’s make sure we don’t take that for granted,” Johnson said.

KELOLAND News is set to speak with South Dakota Sen. John Thune tomorrow.

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