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Congress Passes $2.1 Billion Security Bill

The House and Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would secure funding for the U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Police in the wake of the January 6th riot, which was at risk of having to furlough officers without additional money. The House voted 416 to 11 to approve the $2.1 billion emergency supplemental funding bill. As we learned from “Schoolhouse Rock”, the bill now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature, and he’s expected to sign it.

The House members who opposed the measure came from both sides of the political spectrum, including the Democratic “Squad” of Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as well as Jamal Bowman, D-N.Y., Cori Bush, D-Mo., who have all previously said they are against more money going to the police without any guidelines for reforming the country’s law enforcement.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 27: US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, US Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn and Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges pose for a photo following the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. Members of law enforcement testified about the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol. According to authorities, about 140 police officers were injured when they were trampled, had objects thrown at them, and sprayed with chemical irritants during the insurrection. (Photo by Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

In an unusual display of speed for Congress, the Senate had voted 98-0 hours earlier. The bill includes almost $1 billion for Capitol security — $100 million for the Capitol Police, $300 million for security measures, and $500 million for the National Guard, which concluded its mission at the Capitol in May. The bill also includes roughly $1.1 billion for the special immigrant visa program to assist with Afghan interpreters coming to the United States as American troops withdraw from the nation’s longest war.

The Conservative members who voted against the bill, Chip Roy, R-Texas, Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Bob Good, R-Va., Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., claim their votes reflect their opposition to any increased government spending. The bill would include $31.1 million to backfill overtime for the Capitol Police until the department can hire and train additional officers, and $4.4 million in trauma support, including six new mental health counselors, according to the bill summary.

 

The vote comes just two days after the new Select Committee’s inaugural hearing, where two Capitol Police officers and two Metropolitan officers had given compelling and often emotional testimony about their experiences fighting off the crowd of rioters who breached the Capitol after the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6th.



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