DeLauro Statement to Rules on Emergency Security Supplemental
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 3237, the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th:
"Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Rules Committee to discuss the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th.
"No one needs reminding about the violence of January 6th, the terror that many Members and their staff experienced, or the tragedies that have unfolded since.
"We all mourned for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after engaging protesters. And we keep faith with the scores of Capitol Police, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police, and other law enforcement officers who were injured, many in serious, life-altering ways – 140 officers injured.
"We also have heard stories about how many on the force have struggled with the emotional trauma of January 6th. And we pray for the families of Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jeffrey Smith, who both died by suicide in the aftermath.
"We were instantly taken back to that awful day when, on Good Friday, Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans was killed, and Officer Ken Shaver was injured when they were attacked at a security checkpoint near the Capitol.
"Mr. Chairman, it is no understatement to say that our Capitol community is shaken. The Congress owes it to the women and men of law enforcement, and indeed everyone who works in or visits our Capitol, to pay for the costs to recover and rebuild after the insurrection, after our democracy was attacked. And we need to act to ensure the safety, security, and health of all who serve in the Legislative Branch.
"Beginning the morning after the insurrection, the Appropriations Committee began gathering information to guide this legislation. In late January, we were first Committee to hold a bipartisan briefing with relevant agencies to help identify their needs. I appreciated Ms. Torres and Mr. Reschenthaler’s participation in what Members on both sides agreed was an informative and constructive discussion.
"In the months that followed, the Appropriations Committee has discussed this issue at 12 subcommittee hearings and we have held extensive conversations with security experts in and out of government. I am so grateful for the work of the six subcommittee Chairs of jurisdiction: Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Homeland Security; Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Defense; Congressman Tim Ryan, Legislative Branch; Congressman Mike Quigley, Financial Services and General Government; Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and Congressman Matt Cartwright, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.
"We have also carefully examined the Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review led by Retired Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré and comprised of senior law enforcement experts and retired military leaders. The Capitol Security Review provided critical recommendations to address the immediate needs of the Capitol Police, and on physical and policy changes that are needed to secure the Capitol, Members, and employees. Moreover, we have heard from the Capitol Police Inspector General, who identified shortcomings and recommended areas in need of additional resources and incorporated these ideas throughout the legislation.
"Finally, some of the most important conversations we have had in shaping this legislation were with you, my fellow Members.
"Recognizing the importance of responding quickly, this legislation is narrowly tailored to January 6th and related security needs. We resisted attempts to include extraneous provisions.
"Mr. Chairman, to briefly summarize, this legislation contains $1.9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to responds to the costs incurred because of the tragic events of January 6th; protects facilities, Members, employees, and visitors going forward; and provides for safe and healthy Congressional operations.
"This legislation responds to the direct costs incurred by the attack on the Capitol by reimbursing the National Guard with $521 million and the District of Columbia with $67 million for their response. It provides $44 million for the Capitol Police to cover overtime pay, retention bonuses, equipment replacement, and wellness and trauma support. This includes a provision renaming the Capitol Police wellness center in memory of Officer Howie Liebengood.
"To continue prosecuting the hundreds of perpetrators who attacked law enforcement and ransacked the People’s House, the legislation provides nearly $40 million to the Department of Justice, as well as additional smaller reimbursements to agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Prisons.
"Looking to the future, the legislation strengthens the security of the Capitol Complex by hardening windows and doors, constructing security screening vestibules, and installing new cameras at a total cost of $530 million.
"It provides $18 million for specialized training, riot control equipment and body cameras for the Capitol Police. And to augment the Capitol Police in future emergencies, this bill appropriates $200 million for a dedicated Quick Reaction Force of National Guard personnel.
"The legislation also bolsters security for Members of Congress, with dedicated funding for enhanced security and threat assessments, coordinated Member travel security, and upgrades to security in district offices.
"To address security threats in the Judicial Branch, the legislation provides nearly $183 million for security at courthouses and for federal judges, many of whom are presiding over trials of January 6th insurrectionists.
"Finally, it provides funding for reimbursements and the ongoing response to ensure Congressional operations are healthy and safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe there is broad support for these resources since funding for Legislative Branch COVID-19 needs was not included in recent legislation.
"Mr. Chairman, while we will soon establish a commission to investigate the January 6th domestic terrorist attack on the United States Capitol, it is our responsibility to act now, not later, and provide the resources necessary to protect the Capitol and those who work and visit here.
"Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole, I have talked to the Capitol Police who protect us every day. They cannot wait – and we cannot wait.
"I respectfully request an appropriate rule for Floor consideration of this essential legislation and look forward to answering your questions."