PIA Applauds Reopening of Capitol HillJanuary 9, 2023
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praises the full re-opening of Capitol office buildings to the public.
“One of the great freedoms in this country is in the First Amendment – to petition elected representatives for the redress of grievances,” said PIA National President Gerald F. Hemphill. “That ability has been hampered for years due to the pandemic and security concerns. PIA supports taking safety and security measures seriously, but the careful reopening of the Capitol complex so constituents can meet with their representatives has been long overdue. We are overjoyed that this vital aspect of our democracy has been restored.”
While it has been possible, at times, for very small groups to meet with Congressional offices, security concerns over the last couple of years had led to ongoing restrictions. For instance, members of the public needed an appointment to access their congressional offices, and, even with an appointment, security personnel were only able to check people in at select entrances.
Visitors were required to wait outside House or Senate buildings until they were met by a congressional staff member, who escorted them into the buildings and all the way to their meeting locations. Visitors departing a meeting similarly required escorts to accompany them from the meeting location to the outside of the building. In most cases, visitors were prohibited from exploring the Capitol complex without a staff escort.
This process made visiting congressional offices extremely cumbersome. Thankfully, beginning with the 118th Congress on January 3rd, these restrictions have finally been lifted.
“It is important that small business owners, including independent insurance agents, have safe but adequate access to Capitol Hill,” Hemphill said. “With the support of congressional leadership and the U.S. Capitol Police, safe entry into congressional offices is available again, and constituents can freely meet with their elected representatives.”
PIA looks forward to welcoming independent insurance agents to a fully “open” Capitol Hill throughout the year, particularly during the 2023 PIA Advocacy Day on May 9 and 10.
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses.