By one vote, House passes $1.9B bill to boost Capitol security

The House narrowly handed a Democrat-led $1.9 billion spending bill Thursday aimed toward ramping up security on the Capitol in response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by a 213-212 vote. 

A gaggle of progressive Democrats practically derailed the bill’s passage, expressing issues about police accountability. But Democratic management in the end struck a deal on the ground, with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Talib (Mich,) and Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) voting current as an alternative of no on the measure.

Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) opted to vote towards the bill.

Proponents of the measure argued that the breach of the Capitol — when a bunch of pro-Trump rioters stormed the constructing in an try to disrupt the certification of the election — and the lethal assault on Capitol Police on April 2, when a knife-wielding man drove his automotive right into a security barricade killing an officer and injuring one other demonstrates the necessity for the supplemental funding. 

“Like many of us in the Capitol community, I’m still shaken by the violence and terror that day and the tragedies in its aftermath. The death of Officer Brian Sicknick, the Good Friday attack that killed officer Billy Evans, and the emotional trauma that led to the death of officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith by suicide,” House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) mentioned on the ground forward of the vote.  

Rioters attempt to remove a barrier from officers during the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters try to take away a barrier in the course of the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol whereas making an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

“Congress owes it to every single person who works in or visits the United States Capitol to provide funding to recover, rebuild, and keep all who serve in the legislative branch safe, healthy, and secure.” 

DeLauro launched the bill on Friday, which might allocate $520.9 million towards the National Guard; $43.9 million towards the Capitol Police which might be used for time beyond regulation, hazard pay, retention bonuses, trauma help, gear and intelligence assets. 

The Architect of the Capitol would obtain a $529.7 million price range, with $250 million directed at a redesign of the Capitol grounds to construct retractable fencing and security sensors, $162.7 million for door and window hardening and $100 million for security screening vestibules. 

Rioters breach the Capitol building during the siege on Jan. 6. 2021.
The bill handed Thursday will present $1.9 billion aimed to enhance security in and across the Capitol.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

While Democrats overwhelmingly supported the measure, Republicans expressed issues about a lot of provisions within the bill, together with language that will create a speedy response power inside the D.C. National Guard which some argue would “militarize” security of the complicated and famous that the House didn’t maintain any hearings on the matter. 

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) — the rating member of the House Administration Committee, which is tasked with overseeing the security of the Capitol complicated — took goal at members throughout the aisle for abandoning bipartisan negotiations, arguing a lot of the provisions within the bill are unvetted and warrant a committee listening to. 

“I have some serious concerns about this being the most efficient and effective way to protect the Capitol in an emergency. The bill also requires body cameras for each Capitol police officer with the exception of officers who are on protective detail for leadership and other members. My committee has not reviewed this or why an exception was made for certain officers. Additionally, this bill could allow members to use taxpayer dollars to make upgrades to their homes for security purposes,” he mentioned throughout flooring debate.  

“As someone who’s been shot at on a ball field and received many threats from constituents and others over the years, I understand the need for protection, and there have already been changes to help increase safety. But I have a feeling some of our constituents wouldn’t be happy with members of congress being able to use tax dollars to make improvements that could increase the value of their homes in the name of security.”

Rioters clash with security forces inside the Capitol building during the siege on January 6, 2021.
The House bill allocates with $250 million to redesign the Capitol grounds to construct retractable fencing and security sensors.
Anadolu Agency by way of Getty Images

The bill is predicted to be renegotiated within the higher chamber, with few Senate Republicans anticipated to help the measure in its present type. 

Its passage comes one day after the House passed laws to set up a “9/11-style” fee to examine the Jan. 6 assault, which seems to be useless on arrival within the higher chamber due to a scarcity of Republican help. 

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