Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said $632 million would be provided via a supplemental appropriations bill (pdf) to fund the National Guard and the U.S. Capitol Police for additional costs over the deployment. He argued that without the supplemental resources, both agencies will run out of money before the end of the fiscal year.
“We all agree we must provide desperately-needed funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard. My bill answers these needs,” Shelby said in a statement. “I urge my Democrat colleagues to join me in passing this bill without further delay. Funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard must not be held hostage because the Democrats insist on billions more in spending that lacks full support at this time.”
He added: “The clock is ticking. Let’s pass what we all agree on.”
Previously, a House Democrat-passed bill worth $1.9 billion in May had included more than $500 million for the National Guard and other security measures at the Capitol. The bill has stalled in the Senate, which requires 60 votes to overcome the legislative filibuster.
Some Republicans in the Senate said the Democrats’ bill was too large and unspecific.
In June, the head of the National Guard, Gen. Daniel Hokanson, warned members of Congress that if no funding is appropriated, the Guard will be forced to cut back on training, drills, and other expenditures.
“So if we don’t get that funding fairly soon we’ll have to look at not only August but also September, the last two months in the fiscal year of either curtailing completely or drastically reducing our National Guard drill weekends, and annual training as well as our operational maintenance,” Hokanson said in June. “So it will have a very significant impact on National Guard readiness if we’re not able to resolve that in a timely manner.”
This week, Senate Democrats on the Appropriations Committee say they would increase spending to $3.7 billion on Capitol security.
“We did not budget for an insurrection, and I am glad that my Republican colleagues have joined the negotiating table on this urgent matter, but their proposal falls far short of the needs of the moment,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the head of the committee, said Monday on the floor.
He added: “A pandemic happened. And the President announced the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. These events created urgent needs that must be met now.”