$1.9 billion Capitol security bill barely passes the House after 6 Democrats — including AOC and Ilhan Omar — defect

  • The House on Thursday barely passed a $1.9 billion bill to bolster Capitol security after six progressive Democrats refused to support the legislation. 
  • The bill would send funding to the National Guard and beef up physical security around the Capitol, among other measures. 
  • It’s unclear whether the legislation will pass the evenly-split Senate, where it will need 60 votes.
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The House on Thursday barely passed a $1.9 billion bill to bolster Capitol security after six progressive Democrats refused to support the legislation. 

The legislation passed with 213 Democrats in support and 209 Republicans against it. The bill would pay for expenses related to the January 6 Capitol riot and boost security at the building. Three Democrats — Reps. Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar — voted against the legislation, while three other progressives — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and Rashida Tlaib — voted “present.” 

“Like many of us in the Capitol community, I am still shaken by the violence and terror that day and the tragedies in its aftermath,” Rep. Rose DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, said on Thursday. “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 teh legislative branch safe, healthy, and secure.”

The largest chunk of the bill’s funding would go to reimbursing the National Guard, which has helped protect the Capitol since the January 6 riot. It would also fund a new force within the Guard designed to respond quickly to threats. It also allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to improve fencing around the complex, secure the building’s windows and doors, and protect federal courts and judges. Another $40 million would go to funding the prosecution of those who participated in the Capitol breach.  

At least five people died and almost 140 police officers were injured as a result of the Capitol attack. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Russel L. Honoré, a retired Army lieutenant general, to lead a panel tasked with investigating Capitol security in the wake of the January attack. Honoré recommended many of the measures in the bill and the US Capitol Police have also endorsed the legislation, which includes funding for body-worn cameras for the force. 

Bowman expressed concerns about boosting funding for Capitol Police, but told reporters that he voted present in order to ensure funding is sent to Capitol custodial staff. 

It’s unclear whether the legislation will pass the Senate, where it will need 60 votes.

On Wednesday, every House Democrat and 35 House Republicans voted to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot. 

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