Chair Ryan Statement on U.S. Capitol Police FY 2022 Budget Hearing

2021-03-03 10:37

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the  U.S. Capitol Police FY 2022 Budget.

Acting Chief Pittman.  Very happy to see you again.  Thank you for joining us this morning.  Before we get started talking about your budget needs for fiscal year 2022, I want to say thank you, Chief, and thank you to all the officers and civilians of the Capitol Police who work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of the Members, employees, visitors, and facilities both here and within our districts.

The Capitol Police have a unique role as the only law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the Congress and the U.S. Capitol Complex.  The Capitol Police is an essential agency of the Legislative Branch. The men and women of the Capitol Police put their lives on the line each day to ensure Congress can operate efficiently. You do your jobs so that we can do ours.

Threats to the Members and the facilities are not new.  We saw that on January 6th and last year your predecessor, Chief Sund testified before this subcommittee that “Since Calendar Year 2017, the number of threats [the USCP has] investigated has increased by more than 75 percent.”  We have already had three hearings on the events of January 6th, and while this is the budget hearing, I hope you will address how this increased budget request reflects the Capitol Police’s response to the attack on the Capitol and the Members of Congress and how the more resources will positively impact the security planning, policies, and procedures that were lacking that day. 

As you know, safety, security, and wellness remain this Subcommittee’s top priorities.  Currently, resources for Capitol Police are almost 10% of the entire Legislative Branch budget totaling $515.5 million. For FY 2022, the Department has requested $619.2 million, which is 20 percent or $103.7 million over the fiscal year 2021 enacted total.  I think January 6th made it clear that increases are needed, but we need to understand what the increases will be used to accomplish.  We need to understand the plan for this year and the next year and how the increases provided will be regularized.

I hope you can address how the request will impact command, control, and communication, you are seeking a 91% increase in screening technologies, 131% increase in security systems, a 43% increase in training services.  I hope you can explain to the members of the committee the rational for these increases.

I look forward to your testimony today.  At this point I would like to yield to the Ranking Member, my friend and colleague from Washington State, a state that has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined, Jaime Herrera Beutler for any opening comments she would like to make.

117th Congress