A massive line of trucks and vehicles dubbed the “People’s Convoy” is humming in the region of the nation’s capital, where protesters plan to demand an end to COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. And although organizers have no plans to head directly into Washington, D.C., at the moment — and instead operate only in the region around D.C. — some warn the convoy may be around for a while and double in size.
“The message of The People’s Convoy is simple. The last 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans to travel: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least –financially,” the convoy says in a manifesto. “With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to re-open the country.”
“The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years, and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy. To that end, it’s time for elected officials to work with the blue collar and white-collar workers of America and restore accountability and liberty – by lifting all mandates and ending the state of emergency – as COVID is well-in-hand now, and Americans need to get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner,” the organizers wrote.
The new trucker convoy comes on the heels of a trucker convoy in Canada, which prompted several provinces to life restrictions. The “People’s Convoy” includes more than 1,000 vehicles, according to an estimate from CNN. However, on the ground reporting from The Daily Wire’s Mary Margaret Olohan suggests that the number is smaller.
The convoy may jam up the already congested Capital Beltway if it approaches. “Congressional staff are being told to work from home or to get a hotel room — that can be paid for by their tax-payer funded office,” to avoid I-495, the Daily Mail reported.
“To help combat drive times, House Sergeant at Arms William Walker and House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor wrote to Capitol Hill staff on Sunday night to urge them to either work from home or use public transportation,” the U.K. paper wrote. “If that was not an option, the two House officers gave the unusual option of letting staff get a hotel room paid for by their congressional office, which is funded by taxpayer money, so they can stay close to the Capitol and avoid a commute.”
“‘In general, living expenses and commuting expenses, including lodging expenses at a Member’s or employee’s regular duty station, are not reimbursable with official funds, except in extraordinary circumstances,'” Walker and Szpindor write in a letter obtained by DailyMail.com. “‘Considering the current situation, the Committee on House Administration has determined that extraordinary circumstances exist to permit use of official funds to reimburse short-term lodging expenses in the Washington, D.C., area for certain Members and staff,'” they noted.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.