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House Democrats barely pass bill bolstering Capitol security after progressive defections

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

The House barely passed a bill Thursday providing $1.9 billion to bolster Capitol security in response to the Jan. 6 attack after progressive Democrats defected from the rest of their caucus.

The legislation passed 213-212, with Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Rashida Tlaib voting present. Democratic Reps. Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley joined every Republican in voting against the measure.

Several progressives opposed the bill over “defund the police” issues, according to Punchbowl News. The bill also allocates over $40 million for physical barriers, security details, reimbursing state and local law enforcement agencies and necessary repairs following the Jan. 6 riot, when pro-Trump rioters attempted to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.

“The funding is not optional. This vote is not a show vote,” Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLaurio, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said on the House floor ahead of the vote. “It’s about protecting the seat of our democracy and the men and the women and the young people who work here and serve it.”

Even Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January and who supported a bipartisan commission into the attack opposed the spending bill, with some citing the lack of cross-party negotiations.

“We were in good negotiations trying to work this out,” said Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who also sits on the Appropriations Committee. “And all of a sudden last week, it’s just done, we’re not going to negotiate anymore. That’s my problem.”

Approximately $529 million would go towards upgrading Capitol security, including strengthening windows and doors, adding cameras and enhancing screening and retractable fencing, according to the bill. It also allocates $8.6 million for Capitol Police body cameras and $2.6 million for riot gear.

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