Congress Passes Legislation To Secure Funding For U.S. Capitol Police

Congress on Thursday passed a $2.1 billion emergency supplemental funding bill for the United States Capitol and the Capitol Police.

The final Senate vote tally was 98-0. Only Senators Roger Marshall and Mike Rounds, Republicans from Kansas and South Dakota, respectively, did not vote.

Thursday’s vote comes on the heels of a House-passed bill in May to greenlight $1.9 billion for Capitol security. The $2.1 billion Senate bill, a substitute to the House bill offered by Senators Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, received a quick vote in the House later Thursday afternoon, passing in that chamber by a 416-11 margin.

The bill will provide $1 billion for Capitol security, $100 million for the Capitol Police, $300 million for security measures, and $500 million for the National Guard. $1.1 billion will be given to Afghan interpreters that are in a special immigrant visa program. $31.1 million will be used to pay Capitol Police for working overtime to train and hire officers. $4.4 million will go towards trauma support and mental health services.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro said from the chamber floor Thursday the Capitol Police officers and National Guard members who protected lawmakers and the Capitol building deserved the support.

“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,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “They have soldiered on with physical, mental and emotional trauma and have sacrificed their own needs and those of their families for the safety and security of our democracy. We need to respect their service.”

The vote also comes just weeks before Capitol Police was expected to run out of funding — which could have forced officers to work additional overtime or begin paying their own health insurance costs. The National Guard would also have to cancel training exercises.

The passage of funding to help with officers’ mental health and increase their access to those services comes just two days after Capitol and Metropolitan Police Department officers who defended the seat of the federal government on Jan. 6 told Congress to prioritize officers’ state-of-mind.

U.S. Capitol Police Private First-Class Harry Dunn told lawmakers during the first meeting of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol that he wanted members to look over those offered services.

“I also respectfully ask that this select committee review the services available to us and consider whether they are sufficient enough to meet our needs, especially with respect to the amount of leave that we are allowed,” Dunn said.

The bill will now go to President Biden to sign.

About RavenH

Raven Haywood is a journalist for 10+ years. Graduate from Howard University.

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