In a 213-212 vote with three voting present, the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 billion bill on Thursday to increase security at the United States Capitol.
The bill will fund security across the Capitol grounds, bolster protections, and increase preparedness for lawmakers, district offices, and the Capitol Police force.
Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted present. Representatives Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley voted against the bill. Omar says she voted against the bill because she could not find a reason to support the legislation.
“We have not really been made to understand how the money will actually increase the safety and the capacity and the failures that occurred on January 6,” Representative Omar said.
“The are some things about the bill that I support, like making sure our custodial staff and our cleaners have the resources they need to respond and deal with this trauma. But there are other parts of it that I don’t support, like adding more funding to police budgets,” Representative Bowman said.
The legislation was created because of the information and recommendations that retired Army Lt. General Russel Honoré gave. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Honoré to lead a review of the Capitol security after the deadly insurrection on January 6.
According to a bill summary released by the House Appropriations Committee, $250 million will go toward Capitol grounds security.
$162.7 million will be used to increase security for lawmakers. $10.6 million will go toward security measures and a security camera system. The Capitol Police force will get $8.6 million for body cameras, $6.8 million for training, and $2.6 for riot equipment.
$200 million will be used to create Quick Reaction Force to augment the Capitol Police.
The bill summary also says that $39.5 million would be used to prosecute perpetrators from the deadly January 6 riots.
The bill needs to pass the Senate before President Joe Biden signs off on it. Some Republicans are set on voting against the legislation. Republican Representative Tom Cole says that he is against the legislation and criticized Democrats for moving through the process too quickly.
“It’s truly disappointing that Democrats were unwilling to continue to work towards an agreement with Republicans on a matter of this magnitude. And given that the Senate is in no hurry to take up this legislation, a few additional weeks of discussion could, and likely would, have led to a bipartisan product instead of a product destined for the legislative graveyard,” Cole said.
“I will be voting against it, and here’s why: We don’t even know what the money is going to be spent on,” Representative Kevin Hern said.
House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro introduced the bill.