House

GOP urges members to vote against Capitol security bill

House GOP leaders are urging Republicans to vote against a $1.9 billion supplemental appropriations bill to bolster security at the Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Republican leaders aren’t conducting a formal whip effort against the bill ahead of Thursday’s vote, but they are saying their members should vote against it, according to a spokesperson for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Most Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation.

The vote comes a day after all but 35 House Republicans voted against legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Rep. Kay Granger (Texas), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said the Capitol security spending bill is a “one-sided solution” that doesn’t have buy-in from the Senate.

“The bill we are considering today implements permanent recommendations before ongoing security assessments are complete,” Granger said during House floor debate.

Granger also expressed concern with a provision in the bill allowing $200 million for a standing “quick reaction force” with the National Guard, saying that it raises “serious concerns about the role of our military on American soil.”

The National Guard didn’t arrive at the Capitol until hours after the mob began breaking in, leading lawmakers to propose a standalone unit that could quickly respond to emergencies.

Hundreds of supporters of former President Trump overwhelmed Capitol Police on Jan. 6, forcing the evacuation of Congress in one of the most serious security breaches in the Capitol’s history. Five deaths were associated with the event, and numerous videos show members of the mob attacking police.

The legislation also includes $529 million for upgrading security at the Capitol, including a retractable fence, hardening doors and adding more security screening vestibules and cameras.

Another $40 million would go toward covering the costs of fixing physical damage to the Capitol inflicted by the violent mob trying to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s Electoral College victory. Even more than four months later, some windows in the Capitol are still cracked and have yet to be replaced.

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said earlier this week that he was still reviewing the bill.

“We should go about it methodically, make sure that what we’re doing is the right thing to do. We don’t even have a [Capitol] police chief yet. You know and not just rush to judgement and throw a lot of money at something. We’ve got to do it and we’ve got to do it right. That’s my whole view,” Shelby told reporters.

Tags Capitol breach Capitol police Donald Trump Joe Biden Kay Granger Richard Shelby Steve Scalise USCP

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