Just over one year ago, a mob of violent insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol determined to stop the peaceful transfer of power. As members of Congress, we were trapped inside the Capitol Complex, watching in horror as the very citadel of our democracy was overrun.  

But as soon as it was safe to do so we immediately returned to the House floor to certify the election and prove that while the basic functions of our democracy may be delayed, they will not be deterred.    

None of that would have been possible, however, without the bravery and heroism of the United States Capitol Police. For over four hours USCP officers were beaten, tasered, and shot with pepper spray as they fought hand-to-hand with their assailants. In the end, 73 USCP officers were injured and two officers lost their lives in the aftermath.  

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Those who are sworn to protect us should never have to suffer the way the Capitol Police suffered that day. That is why in the days and months following Jan. 6, the Appropriations Committee has made it one of our top priorities to understand the failures that occurred and ensure such a devastating assault on our nation’s democracy will never be repeated.  

Through a bipartisan full committee briefing and a series of Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearings, as well as constant contact with law enforcement leaders and careful analysis of the Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review, the Appropriations Committee has been at the forefront of efforts to secure the Capitol. 

In July, Congress passed, and President BidenJoe BidenUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries Headaches intensify for Democrats in Florida US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE signed into law, nearly $1 billion to support the Capitol Police and secure the Capitol Complex. 

A full year after the tragic events of Jan. 6 is as good a time as any to see how those resources have been put to use, what reforms have been made, and what needs still exist. 

This week, we held another hearing, this one with new Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton, and House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker. We heard loud and clear that the $1 billion provided in the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th has helped the Capitol Police make significant improvements.  

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For example, intelligence analysts now share threat assessments with rank-and-file officers in addition to superiors, so everyone is informed of evolving threats. Officers now have state-of-the-art equipment including new shields, helmets, and gas masks to help with crowd control. And the Capitol Police has improved training and participated in large-scale joint exercises both internally and with federal law enforcement partners. 

But while the Capitol Police is better prepared than it was a year ago, there are still many ways in which it still needs our help. Since last year, 135 Capitol Police officers have retired or resigned, leaving the force dangerously depleted. And while the force has implemented improvements to help scale up training and mental health services for its officers, more funding is required to sustain these initiatives. 

The only way we will be able to keep the Capitol safe and honor the service of the Capitol Police is by providing consistent and increased annual funding. 

Sadly, that annual funding – which the House voted to increase by $88.4 million – is being held up because Republicans are refusing to negotiate appropriations bills. 

That intransigence is keeping the Capitol Police stuck at last year’s funding levels and denying these heroes the resources they need to keep the Capitol and all who work and visit here safe. 

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This week’s hearing left a clear message: to be worthy of the sacrifice the Capitol Police have made, we must take action to protect them, the Capitol itself, and all who work and visit here. 

To that end, we urge our Republican colleagues to work with Democrats on government funding legislation that supports the brave women and men of the Capitol Police. 

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauroNegotiators report progress toward 2022 spending deal Republicans must join us to give Capitol Police funding certainty  Democrats return with lengthy to-do list MORE is chair of the House Appropriations Committee and represents the 3rd District of Connecticut. Congressman Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 JD Vance raises more than million in second fundraising quarter for Ohio Senate bid Republicans must join us to give Capitol Police funding certainty  MORE is chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch and represents the 13th District of Ohio.