Senate approves emergency spending to secure Capitol Hill

The Senate unanimously passed a $ 2.1 billion emergency spending bill on Thursday to pay for Capitol Hill security costs resulting from ...

The Senate unanimously passed a $ 2.1 billion emergency spending bill on Thursday to pay for Capitol Hill security costs resulting from the Jan.6 attack and pressure from the Biden administration to allow thousands of Afghans threatened with reprisals for helping American troops to be quickly evacuated to the United States. States.

The 98-0 vote came after Senate leaders from both parties approved the provisional expenditure bill, the product of weeks of wrangling between Republicans and Democrats over the scope of the legislation, including the addition of more than $ 1.1 billion for Afghan refugees.

Bill would net $ 70.7 million for a United States Capitol police force shocked by the murderous riot, to cover hiring more agents hiring more agents, overtime and risk premiums, retention premiums, mental health resources, training and equipment.

“The past six months have pushed those who protect the US Capitol to their limits,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat and majority leader. “Faced with unprecedented adversity, they reacted heroically. We must support them now, as they have so courageously supported us. “

It would also provide $ 521 million to reimburse the National Guard for its response on Capitol Hill during the January 6 mob violence and the months of patrol that followed; $ 300 million for complex security upgrades, including strengthening windows and doors and adding a new camera system; and $ 35.4 million for other organizations that helped respond.

The House was expected to pass and pass it quickly, and the White House issued a statement announcing the support of the administration, suggesting that President Biden would sign it.

The Senate vote came days after police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6 told an inquiry committee in the smallest details of the horrors they endured when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. Since the attack, the Capitol police have been in a state of crisis, with funding, personnel and operational issues plague a deeply demoralized force.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Credit Committee had warned for weeks that the Capitol Police risked running out of money and canceling necessary training if Congress did not quickly approve more funding.

“If we do not act, the Capitol Police will exhaust the funding of salaries within a few weeks, and the National Guard will be forced to cancel the training necessary to carry out its mission at home and abroad”, a- he said Thursday. “To do nothing would be a security crisis entirely of our own doing. “

The legislation was passed after several Republicans who had delayed it dropped their objections, and the Senate accepted a proposal from Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas to require the administration to report to the government. Congress on the Special Afghan Immigrant Visa Program.

The bill incorporates a measure passed by the House last week that would add 8,000 new visas for Afghans threatened with death by the Taliban for helping US personnel in Afghanistan as US forces withdraw after 20-year war . The House overwhelmingly approved the measure, which would also speed up the application process and allow more Afghans to qualify. It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars for government programs that help refugees and migrants and resettle them in the United States.

More than 18,000 Afghans who worked as interpreters, drivers, engineers, security guards, fixers and embassy clerks for the United States during the war were caught in bureaucratic limbo after applying for special immigrant visas, which are available to people who face threats because of working for the US government.

“We intend to keep our nation’s promises to defy the Afghans who have taken great risks to help America and our partners fight terrorists,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the chief of the minority, in a speech this week.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Senate approves emergency spending to secure Capitol Hill
Senate approves emergency spending to secure Capitol Hill
Newsrust - US Top News
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