American taxpayers will pay for the damage caused by the Capitol riots because the buildings aren't insured, experts say

  • Taxpayers will have to pay for the high levels of damage violent mobs caused in the US Capitol on Wednesday because the site isn't covered by insurance, industry sources told Reuters.
  • "Taxpayers will be on the hook for repairs to the Capitol," Stephen Ellis, president of watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said after the building was left covered in litter, graffiti, and broken glass.
  • It is not yet known how much the cleanup will cost.
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Taxpayers will foot the bill for damage caused to the US Capitol from Wednesday's violent mob attack because the site isn't covered by insurance, industry sources told Reuters.

It's unknown how much it cost to clean and repair damage to the building in Washington, DC, which was vandalized during the attack after being stormed by pro-Trump rioters. The mobs littered the Capitol with broken glass, banners, and used cigarettes. Furniture and walls were left covered in blood, graffiti, and pepper spray.

Federal agencies aren't usually covered by insurance, but it's likely that the Architect of the Capitol, which maintains the buildings, grounds, and monuments of Capitol Hill, will have to pay for some of the repairs, industry and policy sources told Reuters.

"Taxpayers will be on the hook for repairs to the Capitol," Stephen Ellis, president of watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, told Reuters.

Congress met on Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. Urged on by Trump's violent rhetoric and claims of election fraud, rioters stormed the Capitol. Four people died – one was shot by police and three others suffered fatal medical emergencies.

The attack was the worst breach of the Capitol since the British burned the building down in 1814. 

During the insurrection, dozens of windows and doors were broken as rioters gained access into the building. Law enforcement tried to prevent this using pepper spray, which has stained the Capitol walls orange, and some seemingly bordered up broken windows to prevent more rioters from entering.

Once inside, the mobs broke furniture and vandalized offices.

Read more: Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote count

Some broke into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office and smashed mirrors, and at least one protester urinated inside the building, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told WNYC public radio.

After law enforcement regained control of the Capitol, the building was left littered with trash and full of damage. This included broken glass, used cigarettes, and blood spread across the face of a presidential bust, as well as windows and doors with bullet holes.

Once the building was secure, a significant amount of maintenance staff and law enforcement began cleaning the site, journalist Samantha-Jo Roth reported.

When terrorists targeted the Pentagon during 9/11, repairs cost between $500 million and $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing estimates.

The Capitol building is more than 200 years old. Construction of the original building was completed in 1800, though 14 years later the burning of Washington in 1814 meant significant repairs were needed and the building was temporarily out of use.

The National Park Service declared the site a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

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