Senate Approves Emergency Spending to Secure the Capitol

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Politics|The Senate votes 98-0 for $2.1 cardinal successful exigency spending to unafraid the Capitol and assistance Afghan refugees.

Capitol Police officers connected  Wednesday. The unit  is inactive  reeling from the deadly riot successful  January.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
  • July 29, 2021, 2:21 p.m. ET

Congress connected Thursday passed a $2.1 cardinal exigency spending measure to wage for Capitol information costs stemming from the Jan. 6 onslaught and a propulsion by the Biden medication to let thousands of Afghans facing retribution for aiding American troops to beryllium rapidly evacuated to the United States.

The Senate voted 98-0 aft leaders successful some parties endorsed the stopgap spending bill, the merchandise of weeks of wrangling betwixt Republicans and Democrats implicit however wide the authorities should be, including the summation of much than $1.1 cardinal for Afghan refugees. The House instantly took up the measure and began voting.

The measure would steer $70.7 cardinal to a U.S. Capitol Police unit inactive reeling from the deadly riot, to screen the hiring of much officers, overtime and hazard pay, retention bonuses, intelligence wellness resources, grooming and equipment.

“The past six months person pushed those who support the U.S. Capitol to the limits,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk leader. “In the look of unprecedented adversity, they responded heroically. We indispensable enactment them now, arsenic they truthful courageously supported us.”

It would besides supply $521 cardinal to reimburse the National Guard for its effect astatine the Capitol during the Jan. 6 mob unit and months of patrolling afterward; $300 cardinal for information upgrades to the complex, including hardening windows and doors and adding a caller camera system; and $35.4 cardinal for different agencies that helped respond.

The White House issued a statement announcing the administration’s support, suggesting that President Biden would motion it.

On the House floor, Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut and chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, endorsed the bill, but argued that it fell abbreviated of the Capitol complex’s information needs, noting that the Senate had stripped retired wealth to prosecute those who attacked the Capitol connected Jan. 6, for the instauration of a speedy absorption unit of the National Guard and for different items.

“We cognize that we are not finished,” she said. “This measure is not perfect, but clip is moving abbreviated and the contiguous request is dire. In those harrowing moments of Jan. 6, the men and women of the Capitol Police protected us.”

“Now,” she said, “we indispensable support them.”

The Senate ballot came days aft constabulary officers who defended the Capitol connected Jan. 6 told an investigative committee in excruciating detail of the horrors they endured erstwhile a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. Since the attack, the Capitol Police unit has been successful a authorities of crisis, with funding, staffing and operational problems plaguing a profoundly demoralized force.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and the president of the Appropriations Committee had been informing for weeks that the Capitol Police unit was successful information of moving retired of wealth and canceling indispensable grooming if Congress did not rapidly o.k. much funding.

“If we bash not act, the Capitol Police volition deplete salaries backing successful a substance of weeks, and the National Guard volition beryllium forced to cancel needed grooming to transportation retired their ngo astatine location and abroad,” helium said connected Thursday. “Doing thing would beryllium a information situation wholly of our ain making.”

The authorities passed aft respective Republicans who had been holding it up dropped their objections, and the Senate agreed to a connection by Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, to necessitate the medication to study to Congress connected the Afghan peculiar migrant visa program.

The measure incorporates a measurement passed by the House past week that would adhd 8,000 caller visas for Afghans facing decease threats from the Taliban for helping American unit successful Afghanistan arsenic U.S. forces retreat aft a 20-year war. The House overwhelmingly approved the measure, which would besides expedite the exertion process and let much Afghans to qualify. It besides includes hundreds of millions of dollars for authorities programs that assistance refugees and migrants and resettle them successful the United States.

More than 18,000 Afghans who person worked arsenic interpreters, drivers, engineers, information guards, fixers and embassy clerks for the United States during the warfare person been caught successful bureaucratic limbo aft applying for peculiar migrant visas, which are disposable to radical who look threats due to the fact that of enactment for the U.S. government.

“We mean to support our nation’s promises to brave Afghans who person taken large risks to assistance America and our partners combat the terrorists,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the number leader, successful level remarks this week.

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