The Senate Appropriations chairman said he has a deal with Republicans for “slightly over” $2 billion in emergency spending to pay for security at the U.S. Capitol security with the aim of passing it in both houses of Congress by the end of the week.
The agreement announced by Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont also would raise the number of visas available for Afghans who aided the U.S. during the two-decade war in their country and help pay for their resettlement and related needs.
However, the top Republican on the Appropriations panel said that some details still needed to be ironed out.
“We think we have a deal,” Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama said. “It’s not sealed “
Under the plan, the funds would reimburse the National Guard and U.S. Capitol Police for money spent responding to the riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6. It includes more than $500 million for the National Guard and $100 million for Capitol Police, according to a person familiar with the deal. In addition, it would spend more than $300 million for new security measures at the Capitol.
Congress is under pressure to pass the spending bill before August. That’s when the Capitol Police force faces furloughing officers and the National Guard would have to curtail training. Leahy announced the agreement on the same day as the first hearing of a House special committee on the insurrection, in which police officers described fearing for their lives in the assault by a violent mob.
The House earlier this year passed a $2 billion spending bill that also would have paid for additional security barriers around the Capitol and the creation of a Capitol Police rapid reaction unit.. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Tuesday that if the Senate passes its version the House also will pass it “because it is absolutely essential that we make sure the resources necessary.”
Leahy said he had spoken with Hoyer, who told him he believes the deal can pass the House.
The House voted overwhelmingly last week to raise the cap on visas for Afghan nationals who assisted American forces in Afghanistan and risk being targeted by the Taliban or others for their work.
The Senate plan would meet the request from the Biden administration last week for $1 billion to bring to the U.S. Afghans who helped American forces during the two-decade war in their country. It would cover the cost of flights, temporary shelter, resettlement and other needs.
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