Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has refused the Biden Administration’s request for national guard troops from the state ahead of Biden’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday. “Last week, the Biden Administration requested the assistance of State National Guards to deploy to Washington D.C.” DeSantis wrote in a tweet. “I have rejected this request — there will be no [Florida National Guard] sent to D.C. for Biden’s State of the Union.”
Earlier this month, the Pentagon approved the deployment of more than 700 National Guard troops for Biden’s first State of the Union address. Officials said the troops would be used to assist with traffic control, citing planned trucker protests. “The people who live, work and visit the District are part of our community, and their safety is our first mission priority,” Major General Sherrie McCandless, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, said in a statement. “Our MPD and USCP partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and we stand ready to assist.
The Pentagon has deployed around 400 members of the D.C. National Guard, as well as 300 guardsmen from outside of the district. “The troops will not carry weapons “or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities,” the National Guard Bureau said in a statement.
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) have also brought in outside law enforcement agencies to assist with “security.” CNN’s Noah Gray has reported that members of NYPD are in D.C. “To be clear they’re here to support security for State of the Union as an outside agency,” Gray wrote in a tweet.
To be clear they’re here to support security for State of the Union as an outside agency https://t.co/h8qFyXgtz2
— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) March 1, 2022
Despite the lack of a credible threat, U.S. Capitol Police, patterned with the Pentagon, have amassed a large law enforcement/military presence ahead of Biden’s speech. Additionally, the USCP reinstalled a large fence around the Capitol building. The fence — which was initially topped with barbed wire — was erected not long after the January 6 Capitol protests. It remained in place until last July, when it was taken down, but has now been reinstalled on a handful of occasions.
President Biden is set to give his first State of the Union address with an approval rate of just 41%, the second lowest mark on record. Biden’s -20 point net approval rating on the economy is the worst for any president since at least 1978 at the time of their first State of the Union.