Senate Republicans propose $600 million bill to reimburse National Guard for Jan. 6 deployment
Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby introduced an emergency funding bill Monday that would reimburse the National Guard for their Capitol deployment in response to the Jan. 6 attack.
The House passed a $1.9 billion emergency spending bill in May that included more than $520 million in funds to reimburse the National Guard for their deployment and other measured aimed at improving security at the Capitol complex. But the bill has stalled in the Senate.
Senate Republicans balked at the total size of the bill without a comprehensive assessment of what security changes are required.
The $632.9 million bill from Mr. Shelby, Alabama Republican, would fund only the National Guard and U.S. Capitol Police for the costs incurred in their response to the Jan. 6 attacks. Funding for security upgrades to the Capitol would be postponed.
“We all agree we must provide desperately-needed funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard. My bill answers these needs,” Mr. Shelby said in a statement. “I urge my Democrat colleagues to join me in passing this bill without further delay. Funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard must not be held hostage because the Democrats insist on billions more in spending that lacks full support at this time.”
Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, warned lawmakers last month that if the service was not reimbursed “fairly soon” they may be forced to cancel or dramatically reduce training and drills for the rest of the fiscal year and slash operational maintenance requirements.
“It will have a very significant impact on National Guard readiness if we’re not able to resolve that in a timely manner,” he said.
Gen. Hokanson said the Guard tapped into its budget to fund the deployment of 26,000 personnel to the nation’s capital from every state and territory in the U.S. The deployment lasted from Jan. 6 until May 23.
Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cancel the upcoming August recess unless Congress approves reimbursement for the National Guard.
“The supplemental, passed by the House in a partisan manner in May, languishes in the Democrat-controlled Senate over concerns of extraneous spending,” Mr. Rogers said in a letter Monday to Ms. Pelosi, California Democrat. “This partisan bill harms our National Guard.
We must come together and pass a clean supplemental to ensure the National Guard, which remained unnecessarily at the Capitol with your support, has the funds needed to train for and fulfill their mission. I urge you to cancel any recesses or ‘Committee Work Weeks’ until a supplemental appropriation is signed into law.”
• Mike Glenn contributed to this article.