Congressional Leaders Mull $2 Billion for Capitol Security
(Bloomberg) -- Congressional leaders are putting together a $2 billion special funding bill to strengthen security at the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to multiple people familiar with the plan.
The discussions and drafting of the legislation aren’t finished and the total is approximate and subject to change, said two officials familiar with the talks, who asked for anonymity because the plans aren’t final.
There is no set timing for release of the plan and a vote on the funding. The security measures are expected to include some type of permanent fencing around the Capitol, additional officers for the Capitol Police force, improved emergency communications and weaponry, as well as enhanced protections for lawmakers.
Some of the improvements were recommended in in a top-level security review led by by retired Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore released last week to prevent another breach of the Capitol.
The size of the proposal was reported earlier by Punchbowl News.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has previously said there would be extra funding sought for security improvements.
Lawmakers in both parties have raised objections about the temporary fencing erected still in place since the riot at the Capitol and the continued deployment of the National Guard troops on the grounds. Some of the barriers are being removed or repositioned and the Guard forces are being drawn down after Capitol Police concluded that there was no immediate threat.
Late Friday afternoon, a memo from the office of acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett said that “outer perimeter” fencing around the complex would be taken down over the weekend. Some roads in the area will be reopened.
The memo also said there will be modifications to the National Guard presence within what will now be a smaller perimeter around the Capitol complex.
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