As the fence falls, Capitol Hill security forces face funding shortage – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
(CNN) – More than six months after the deadly insurgency on Capitol Hill, the last temporary security structure is falling, but many concerns remain about how the campus will be protected in the future and whether the police du Capitole will have the resources to strengthen security just months after a deadly riot.
The razor-wire-topped fence that once surrounded the entire Capitol Hill campus and now only surrounds Capitol Square, began to collapse on Friday and is expected to be completely removed by the time lawmakers return in session next week.
While physical signs of the January 6 security breaches will have subsided, the House and Senate have yet to come to an agreement on a broad funding package designed to bolster Capitol Hill security, plugging some of the holes uncovered as a result. January 6. and inject money into the besieged Capitol Police Department. The USCP faces staffing and recruitment shortages as many of its members face the fallout from the riots.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont warned in June that the department could run out of money to fund basic operations by August.
In addition to the Capitol Police, the National Guard could be forced to cut back on training in August if new funds are not allocated. The National Guard described the multitude of training and spending programs that are expected to be cut if Congress does not provide them with funding by August 1.
The House passed a $ 1.9 billion security supplement in May, but the legislation languished in the Senate. The House passed its bill without the support of their Senate Democratic counterparts, and as a result Democratic and Republican senators have issues with the legislation they are trying to resolve.
Leahy has a good working relationship with Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the Republican member of the credits committee, and their teams have exchanged proposals, according to aides.
But they too encountered roadblocks.
Leahy and Shelby exchanged attacks on the negotiations on Friday. Leahy issued a statement calling for swift action to address the budget deficit.
“We haven’t budgeted for an insurgency, and without action the Capitol Police will not pay for the overtime they incurred, without proper equipment and sufficient mental health services to deal with the continuing trauma of this day. . The National Guard, which has flocked to the Capitol from all states, may now have to cut the training it needs to prepare for overseas deployments or a response at home, ”Leahy said.
He accused Republicans of obstructing passage of the legislation.
“It’s been seven weeks since the House passed a bill to address these needs without Republican votes. In the Senate, we continue to press for action, but we have not found a willing partner, ”he said.
But Shelby said he was ready to back a bill that immediately addressed immediate needs.
“We should now adopt what we all agree on: Capitol Police and National Guard are running out of money, time is running out and we need to take care of them,” Shelby said in a statement to CNN.
Shelby believes the panel should revisit funding for broader security measures when there is a comprehensive assessment and plan – and should not let that hamper immediate needs, according to an assistant to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senate Republicans went so far as to offer Democrats reduced funding that directly addressed the urgent needs of the Capitol Police and National Guard. According to a copy of the legislation obtained by CNN, this proposal was drafted in late June.
As they continue to negotiate, a Democratic Senate aide told CNN their differences may come to a head as they approach funding depletion.
Urgent needs define the stakes for a major round of agreements as Congress enters an incredibly busy July that includes addressing issues such as infrastructure, voting rights and policing.
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