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Security fence to go up at Capitol for State of the Union

A heavy law enforcement presence is expected for the president’s speech to Congress on March 7

A worker installs a security fence that surrounds the Capitol in February 2023, ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
A worker installs a security fence that surrounds the Capitol in February 2023, ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A security fence will surround the Capitol as President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address on March 7, according to three sources familiar with the decision.

The Capitol Police Board on Friday approved the installation of the fencing. A security fence went up around the Capitol for last year’s State of the Union speech.

The State of the Union is designated as a National Special Security Event, the highest security status the federal government can assign to an event. These are determined by the size, scope and potential threat profile.

U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said people should expect to see a heavy law enforcement presence around the Capitol complex. He noted that there will be technology, plainclothes officers and support teams.

The agency is working with Capitol Police, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and dozens of other federal and city agencies, Guglielmi said.

The House sergeant-at-arms led a briefing earlier this week that included representatives from the Pentagon, White House and several other agencies and stakeholders on security preparations for the event, a source familiar with the briefing said.

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