Bipartisan Group Of Senators Agree To Increase Support For Capitol Police
Wednesday Democratic and Republican spending leaders have reached an agreement for 2.1 billion dollars in a supplemental security spending bill to direct money to the Capitol Police and National Guard as they face difficulties from the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, told reports that he reached an agreement with Republican Richard Sheldy of Alabama, who is the panel’s top Republican. Along with supporting the Capitol Police and National Guard it supports Afghans who aided the United States in Afghanistan.
“We have the responsibility to take care of the Capitol Police in the wake of their incredible service on January 6th, and to reimburse our National Guard for costs incurred protecting the Capitol. We have the responsibility to pay for costs we have already incurred as a result of the pandemic. And we have the moral responsibility to stand with our Afghan partners who stood with us through two decades of war,” Senator Patrick Leahy said, Adding that this bipartisan agreement addresses the needs and solves them immediately.
“It is essential that we provide the National Guard and Capitol Police the funding they require without further delay,” Shelby said in a statement. “It is also critical that we not leave behind those who helped us in Afghanistan once President Biden fully withdraws U.S. troops later this year.”
The package provides 100 million dollars for Capitol Police, another 300 million for increased security, adding new cameras and upgrading the windows to be newer and stronger along with some of the doors. There is just over 1 billion dollars for the Pentagon for the Defense Department funding, Along with 521 million for the National Guard and 900 million is to address needs of the Afghan special Visa program. This Piece of legislation also includes 600 million for the State Department and 35 million for the Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the deal that was made it increases the Afghan Partner Visas to 8,000.
The price for the Senate’s legislation is slightly higher than the $1.9 billion approved by the House in May to boost security at the Capitol and backfill overtime pay for Capitol Police officers. The agency has diminished manpower and saw a drop in morale following the January 6 attack, during which, more than 150 Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police officers were injured. One officer, Brian Sicknick, died after responding to the violence at the Capitol.
In the more than six months since the deadly riots at the Capitol more than 70 officers have left the Capitol Police force. When asked about the deal Senator Patrick Leahy told reporters that “we’re going to take care of the Capitol Police.”
Out of the money for the Capitol Police, $31.1 million is to backfill expected overtime until the agency can hire more officers and to install more benefits to keep current members of its force. The deal also includes $4.4 million for wellness and trauma support, as well as $3.3 million for intelligence analysts and technical resources.
The senators agreed to set aside $5.8 million for protective details for lawmakers in response to growing threats against them and $2.6 million for basic riot control equipment for all officers.
The agreement comes just as the Capitol Police nears a funding shortfall without congressional action. The National Guard too warned of potential impacts to its readiness and training if it were not reimbursed the $521 million cost of its mission protecting the Capitol after January 6.
Roughly 26,000 National Guard troops were deployed to the nation’s capital for President Biden’s inauguration January 20 to assist with security in the wake of the Capitol assault. Roughly 5,200 troops remained in DC in March but the National Guard extended its mission at the request of Capitol Police, keeping 2,200 service members on until May 23.