Funding for a quick reaction force might be justified after the storming of the Capitol, according to retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who said an immediate response could have "totally" changed the outcome of Jan. 6.
"It could have been totally different," Honoré told CBS's "Face the Nation," "and as has been pointed out, some of the command and control where the Capitol Police chief can go directly to the guard in an emergency situation is one of the recommendations we made and get the National Guard to start moving."
After a summer of demands to defund the police over social justice concern, House Democrats are now passing bills like the $1.9 billion last week for Capitol security, which includes $200 million to fund a quick reaction force within the National Guard.
"Some of them are taking issue with $200 million that's in the bill to fund the National Guard quick reaction force," Honoré noted of GOP ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees. "There's some talk about using regional police for that mission.
"That might work if only you scheduled event that might happen on Saturday afternoon with a large crowd coming to town. I don't think it will work with a threat of domestic terrorism at 3 o'clock in the morning, where you can call up a local law enforcement and say show up at the Capitol. You know 80% of our Capitol Police live outside the district.
"That was the reason for the quick reaction force. It still leaves the mission with the D.C. Guard to be prepared to respond, but the quick reaction force would give them ability to respond in minutes. Now that's going to be hours before they'd be able to respond because you got to recall them to duty."
It should be noted, Jan. 6 was a hot-button day that was not a sudden event. It was the day Congress was voting to certify President Joe Biden's election and former President Donald Trump was speaking at a Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C.
The events of Jan. 6 ran up a $700 million after the fact, Honoré noted in a report on the Jan. 6 and subsequent D.C. National Guard presence.
"Look, $700 million of the $1.9 [billion] is paying bills, John," Honoré told host John Dickerson. "You know, we had to pay for those 20-some thousand National Guard that were there for over a month and the continued deployment of the Guard, and they're leaving today as we speak. They're redeploying home.
"So those bills had to be paid. They had to pay bills for overtime for the Capitol Police. You know, the Capitol is not just one building. It's about 10 buildings that are included under the purview of the Capitol Police. They also put some money there to pay some of the COVID expenses, as well as money for the architect of the Capitol to start the design work to harden the Capitol. So, $700 million is paying bills."
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