Politics

6 Months After Riot, Capitol Police Face Multiple Crises

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has warned that the Capitol Police force will run out of money by August if the Senate fails to pass the security funding bill that the House approved in May over unanimous opposition from Republicans.

Already, Mr. Leahy said, the Capitol Police has delayed purchases of “critical equipment,” such as helmets and protective gear, because of the looming funding lapse. A wellness program that was intended to further address mental health concerns in the agency has been put on a “back burner,” he said.

The situation, he said, amounts to Congress turning its back “on those who fought, bled and died on that day.”

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the appropriations panel, said his party had proposed a much narrower bill that would provide money for the Capitol Police while lawmakers studied what security upgrades might be needed.

That roughly $630 million proposal, a draft of which was obtained by The Times, would provide about $97 million for the Capitol Police, but did not include money for security improvements at the complex.

“We should pass now what we all agree on,” Mr. Shelby said in a statement to The Times on Friday. “The Capitol Police and National Guard are running out of money, the clock is ticking, and we need to take care of them.”

The funding impasse compounds a mounting sense of betrayal that many Capitol Police officers say they have experienced as some Republicans loyal to Mr. Trump, whose lies of a stolen election egged on the mob on Jan. 6, have worked to deny, downplay or justify the attack. Last month, 21 House Republicans voted against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to Capitol Police officers who responded to the riot. Senate Republicans blocked the formation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate what happened, even after officers on duty that day and the family of Officer Sicknick personally pleaded with them to allow it to go forward.

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