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House Passes $2.1 Billion Capitol Security Bill

July 30, 2021 by Dan McCue
House Passes $2.1 Billion Capitol Security Bill
Heightened security remains around the U.S. Capitol since the Jan. 6 attacks by a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump, in Washington, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $2.1 billion emergency spending bill that includes funding for the Capitol Police, a move that solved a potential budget shortfall that could have led to furloughs in August.

The bill, H.R. 3237, the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to Jan. 6 Appropriations Act, passed the House 416-11, with six Democrats and five Republicans voting against the measure.

Hours earlier, the Senate passed the same measure, 98-0.

The package cleared on Thursday provides the Capitol Police with $70.7 million for overtime pay, retention bonuses, equipment and mental health services. It also includes $300 million to harden windows and doors around the Capitol complex and install new security cameras.

Another $521 million would go toward reimbursing the National Guard for deploying its members to the Capitol for months after Jan. 6 to help support the enhanced security demands.

In a statement released immediately after the vote, Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., recalled how on Jan. 6, “a mob of violent insurrectionists invaded our Capitol, hellbent on stopping the peaceful transfer of power.”

“The brave men and women of our Capitol Police protected us. And since that fateful day, they have continued to work day in and day out, with only the barest minimum of support,” DeLauro said. 

“By passing this bill, we have honored the service of the Capitol Police and the National Guard with the funding they need. And we have sent a clear message that we respect the hard work they do,” she said.

The measure also includes $1.125 billion for Afghan refugee resettlement and would provide 8,000 Afghan special immigrant visas to relocate people who helped the U.S. military.

The compromise Senate measure lacks some of the provisions included in the original House bill, such as creating a rapid response force within the National Guard to back up the Capitol 

Police in emergency situations and resources for prosecuting the people who stormed the Capitol in January.

“These needs will not disappear,” DeLauro said. “As we pass this bill today, we know that we are not finished – and we are committed to filling in the gaps the Senate amendment has left.”

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