WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Michigan’s congressional delegation put partisan differences aside Wednesday as they handed out a special treat to the Michigan National Guard troopers who have been stationed around the U.S. Capitol since January.
“It’s great to be out here with them,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said. “This is really just a small token of thanks given the contribution that the Michigan National Guard men and women have provided to us.”
The lawmakers handed out hundreds of Chick-fil-A sandwiches to the guardsmen, who will return to Michigan Friday. The meals were funded by the nonprofit Michigan State Society, which also supplied the troops with $10 Visa gift cards.
“Today’s about saying thank you to them,” Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., said.
He said his office had gotten multiple complaints from soldiers’ family members, complaining their loved ones had been served spoiled or raw food.
“I had a very angry grandmother who called the office,” Huizenga said. “There’s nothing like a grandmother’s scorn … to prompt some action.”
Nearly 1,000 guardsmen from Michigan are staffed around the Capitol. They account for nearly a fifth of the troops stationed there in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot. After two months, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer decided against extending their stay in Washington.
“They served with purpose. They served well,” Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., said.
“Our state’s carried their fair share. It’s time for other states to help out,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said.
After a surge of threats against members of Congress this week, the Department of Defense did extend the stay for 2,300 other guardsmen. Congress itself continues to deliberate what permanent security measures may remain around the Capitol after all the troops eventually leave.