Pelosi blasts FAA over ball game confusion that led to Capitol evacuation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to notify US Capitol police of a planned demonstration by Army paratroopers over Nationals Park baseball stadium which led to an evacuation of the Capitol complex on Wednesday.

The California Democrat said in a statement Wednesday that the “apparent negligence” was particularly damaging to “members, staff and institutional workers still dealing with the trauma of the attack on their workplace” on January 6, 2021.

“The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover of Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Congress looks forward to considering the results of a thorough after-action review that will determine precisely what went wrong today and who at the Federal Aviation Administration will be held accountable for this outrageous and chilling mistake. “

The FAA said it “takes its role in protecting national airspace seriously” and will conduct a “thorough and prompt review of events”.

“We know our actions affect others, especially in the National Capital Region, and we must communicate early and often with our law enforcement partners,” an FAA spokesperson said in the statement. a statement.

Capitol Police issued an alert shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday saying they were “tracking an aircraft that poses a possible threat.”

The warning led to a full-scale evacuation of the Capitol and its visitor center, the House and Senate office buildings, and the Library of Congress.

Capitol Police issued a go-ahead after the plane was identified as one carrying the Golden Knight Army Parachute Team that was to jump for the military appreciation night at Nationals Park, home of the Nationals from MLB Washington.

“The Capitol was evacuated out of an abundance of caution tonight,” police said in a statement posted to Twitter more than 30 minutes after the evacuation order was issued. “There is no threat to the Capitol. More details to come.

Ms. Pelosi praised Capitol Police for “vigilantly monitoring” the “potential threat from aircraft” and “ensuring the safety of all who work in the hallowed halls.”

“Today, and every day, our congressional community is extraordinarily grateful for the heroism of our United States Capitol Police officers,” she said.

Dave Boyer contributed to this story.

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Post expires at 10:13pm on Tuesday June 21st, 2022