The two parties in the Senate have competing proposals to reimburse the National Guard for the $521 billion it spent to patrol Capitol Hill from January through May. Army leaders and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have said the Guard will have to cancel its trainings in August if it doesn’t get reimbursed.
A large House-passed bill that includes the reimbursement and other security measures appears dead in the Senate.
The top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), introduced a smaller proposal last week.
“We should pass now what we all agree on: The Capitol Police and National Guard are running out of money, the clock is ticking, and we need to take care of them,” he said, according to The Hill.
A Shelby aide said Republicans prefer to revisit other Capitol security plans down the road.
Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a competing bill Monday. It would fund the Guard repayment and also provide DOD with additional COVID-19 response funds.
“A violent insurrection happened. A pandemic happened. And the President announced the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan,” Leahy said in a statement. “These events created urgent needs that must be met now. A piecemeal approach is no way to govern, and I have been here long enough to know that a promise to do it ‘later’ is no promise at all.”
Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.