Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks: It’s Time For The Senate To Take Up And Pass The Bipartisan Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill For Capitol Police And Security Funding

July 29, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to pass the bipartisan emergency supplemental appropriations bill to replenish funds for the Capitol Police and provide our National Guard the resources they need to do a very difficult job. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Even during normal times, protecting the US Capitol is a difficult job. Millions of people visit the US Capitol every single year. 535 elected officials and their staffs work here every single day.

To keep the Capitol Complex safe, to keep it secure, we are lucky to have the best of the best.

Our Capitol Police, who stared down a violent mob on January 6th, have been nothing short of heroic. Heroic. When the smoke cleared after the attack of January 6th, they came back to the Capitol and helped piece together what the rioters had torn apart. In the aftermath of that dark day, the National Guard helped keep watch day and night, twenty-four seven.

I walked the halls of this building early in the morning and saw the National Guardsmen and women from New York and so many other states, camped out, helping us, wanting to make sure the Capitol was secure.

We owe the Capitol Police, we owe the National Guard our deepest gratitude.

But we owe them more than just that. We owe them the resources they need to do a very difficult job and to do it well.

Unfortunately, the Congress is on the precipice of failing them. Due to unforeseen expenses during the pandemic, and the toll incurred by the attack on January 6th, funding for our Capitol Police, security at the Capitol complex, even our National Guard, has come close to running very dry.

Already, the Capitol Police has had to delay vital trainings and the purchase of new safety equipment. Soon, salaries, bonuses, and new hiring will be on the chopping block. According to Major General Tom Carden, who sent 1,200 members of the Georgia National Guard to the Capitol after January 6th, his unit is facing “draconian” cuts if Congress doesn’t replenish funding before this weekend.

We must not—we must not—let that happen under our watch.

The Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy, has been working diligently to come up with a bipartisan agreement, and now Senator Shelby has joined with him. And they have crafted a $2.1 billion supplemental appropriations bill to fill the shortfalls of our Capitol Police, our National Guard, and a number of our other vital defense operations. It is not everything that we wanted. The House bill is bigger and broader, but it does fill the need, and we need to fill it quickly.

I want to thank Senator Leahy, particularly, for his relentlessness in pursuing this. I wanted to thank Senator Shelby for realizing how important this was and prodding members on his side of the aisle to move forward.

And I also want to thank Chairman of the Authorization Committee, the Rules Committee, that deals with these issues.

Senator Klobuchar in particular, whose hearings and continued focus on Capitol security helped paved the way for the agreement, deserves our kudos.

Now is the time for the Senate to take up and pass this bill on behalf of the brave police officers and service members who defended this very citadel of democracy.

All fifty Senate Democrats fully support this crucial police and security funding. All fifty. Democrats are ready to go. We are eager, insistent we meet our deadline.

Again, Democrats are prepared to vote on this bill as soon as possible. With the cooperation of our Republican colleagues, which we hope we will get, the needs are dire, we could pass this bill today.

The last six months have pushed those who protect the US Capitol to the limits. In the face of unprecedented adversity, they responded heroically.

We must support them now, as they so courageously supported us.

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