House Lawmakers Propose Creating $200 Million Quick Reaction Force for US Capitol Security

Nearly 26,000 National Guard troops were mobilized after the infamous January 6 riot on Capitol Hill to provide protection before and after US President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. According to the report, about 2,200 National Guard troops are still helping the Capitol mission.

House Democrats have introduced a new bill that would provide the District of Columbia Air National Guard with $200 million to create a quick reaction force of service members ready to respond to any violence or threats on Capitol Hill.

The bill, introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairperson Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on Friday, addresses a wide range of issues, including funds to improve security around Capitol grounds and specific measures to strengthen safeguards and increase preparedness for legislators, including at their district offices and the US Capitol Police force.

Under a $1.9 billion protection supplemental unveiled by House leaders, the package also contains almost $521 million in unanticipated pay and operations costs for the continuing Guard deployment to defend Congress in the aftermath of the January breach in the Capitol building.

According to a Military Times report, these compensation expenses are almost equal to the amount of money allocated in the bill for potential grounds protection projects across the Capitol complex, such as retractable fencing to keep large crowds from descending on the grounds during possible future demonstrations or events.

DC National Guard spokesperson Capt. Chelsi B. Johnson is quoted in the report as saying USCP have not asked the National Guard to remain past May 23.

“Once the mission concludes, the DC National Guard will return to normal operations and the out-of-state Guard members will return to their home station,”  she said.

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