In a statement Friday, the Vermont Democrat said “we must make sure we are making smart investments in our security based on lessons learned. It is important to me that the Capitol, a potent symbol of our democracy, remain open and accessible to the public and does not feel like a militarized zone.”
The Biden administration announced Tuesday it supports House passage of the bill in a Statement of Administration Policy, but the document doesn’t include mention of the quick reaction force.
The package would provide funding to dozens of agencies, including:
- $529.7 million for the Architect of the Capitol to enhance security throughout the complex, including the option of a “retractable security system” with “pop-in fencing.”
- $520.9 million to reimburse the National Guard for the activation from Jan. 6 through May 23.
- $157.7 million for federal judges and federal court facilities security.
- $66.8 million for the District of Columbia emergency planning and security fund.
- $43.9 million for the U.S. Capitol Police response to the attack and $18 million for body cameras, training and equipment.
- If the Senate were to reach a bipartisan agreement, the House could approve the measure during a pro forma session unless a member objects. If that were to happen, the earliest a spending package could become law would be mid-June.
One of the more challenging aspects of the negotiation could be determining how to rework the $200 million for a quick reaction force to “augment” the Capitol Police.
Houses Rules ranking member Tom Cole, R-Okla., was one of several Republicans to express opposition to that item Tuesday, saying that if it’s going to exist it should be under the control of the House and Senate, not the D.C. National Guard.