Chairman Ryan Statement at the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the United States Capitol Police Hearing

2022-03-30 10:41

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the fiscal year 2023 budget request for the United States Capitol Police:

Chief Manger. Very happy to see you, Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman, Chief Administrative Officer, Richard Braddock, and members of the Capitol Police Executive Team. I want to thank each of you and 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 solely responsible for protecting the Congress and the U.S. Capitol Complex. I repeat this at each of our Hearings to emphasize the essential role the Capitol Police plays as an 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 and carry out their roles as described in the Constitution. You do your jobs so that we can do ours.

Thank you for joining us this morning to discuss the Department’s fiscal year 2023 budget request. Currently, resources for the Capitol Police are 10% of the entire Legislative Branch budget totaling $602.5 million. Today you will be requesting $708 million, a significant increase above what was already provided in supplemental funding and the fiscal year budget. This is an increase of $105.5 million over the FY 2022 enacted totals.

Safety, security, and wellness remain this Subcommittee’s top priorities. I don’t need to tell you that threats to Members and the Capitol complex are on the rise. As stated in your request, increases in the numbers of threats and directions of interests toward Members of Congress have increased 10-fold in the past 5 years. In one year from 2020 to 2021, these threats and directions of interest towards Members increased almost 12% reaching as high as 9,625.  On January 6th, we witnessed how these threats turn into action. Today, Chief, I hope you will address how your budget request of an additional $105.5 million reflects the Capitol Police’s response to the many security recommendations that have been made since the attack and how more resources will positively impact the security planning, policies, and procedures that were lacking that day.  

The continuous rise in threats makes it clear that increases and improvements are needed, but we, on this Committee, need to understand in detail how any increases provided will be used to increase our security posture and keep us, our staffs and visitors safe.  As the Capitol campus begins to reopen to the American public, we need to understand the plan for this year, next year, and the future. We need to know how your request will enhance security, be regularized, and make us all safe. 

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, Jaime Herrera Beutler for any opening comments she would like to make.

117th Congress