In a response to the violent Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol that led to several fatalities and many injuries as well as building damage, the House has approved a $1.9-billion emergency spending measure aimed at tightening security in and around the iconic structure, including funds for physical upgrades to the building.
The bill, which the House passed on May 20 on a slim 213-212 vote, next goes to the Senate.
After the vote, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said in a statement, "This narrowly tailored bill carefully responds to the insurrection and addresses urgent security vulnerabilities."
DeLauro added, "It is imperative tha the Senate advance this legislation without any delay."
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said at the time the House measure was introduced, "I am committed to moving a bill in the Senate to address these important needs; it must be done."
Leahy added, "But in doing so, we must make sure we are making smart investments in our security based on lessons learned."
The House bill would allocate $529.7 million to the office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for physical improvements, including $162.7 million to upgrade windows and doors at the Capitol.
The funding also would include $100 million to construct vestibules to screen visitors at the Capitol’s north and south doors and to design and build vestibules at the House and Senate office buildings.
The House committee said funding for those improvements was requested by the AOC and House Sergeant-at-Arms.
Also in the allocation is $250 million for future security needs on the Capitol grounds, including redesigning the landscape and adding retractable or “pop-in” fencing and sensors.
Some items in the bill also were recommended in a March 5 security review done by a task force led by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré. The review was requested by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Story updated on 5/20/2021 with House passage of the bill.