WASHINGTON– An emergency spending bill passed by the Senate 98-0 on Thursday would bolster security at the Capitol and repay outstanding debts from the Jan. 6 insurrection. The $2.1 billion bill would also increase the number of visas for allies who worked alongside Americans in the Afghanistan war.
Democrats and Republicans struck an agreement on the legislation this week, saying the money is urgently needed for the Capitol Police and for the translators and others who worked closely with U.S. government troops and civilians in Afghanistan.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation in the coming days and send it to President Joe Biden.
The money for the Capitol – including for police salaries, the National Guard, and to better secure windows and doors around the building – comes more than six months after the violent insurrection by former President Donald Trump’s supporters and is scaled back from a House-passed bill and previous Democratic proposals.
The bill’s passage comes after four police officers who fought off the rioters in the Jan. 6 attack testified in an emotional House hearing on Tuesday and detailed the “medieval” battle in which they were brutally beaten and verbally assaulted. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Wednesday that the hearing had perhaps “jarred the Senate to move in a bipartisan way to pass this legislation.”
Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley told FOX2 Thursday that he did not watch any of Tuesday’s hearing and has not read any reporting from the hearing.
“I think it’s a total partisan exercise, I think it’s a kangaroo court, I think what they’re doing is terrible. I think trying to politicize this issue and to politicize the riot is absolutely awful and that’s exactly what the Democrats are doing,” Hawley said. “I think the fact that they don’t have any interest in discovering or getting to the root causes of all the other riots across the country or for that matter, the Good Friday attack that took the life of a Capitol Hill police officer, resulted in the assault of other officers at this Capitol just a couple of months ago I think it’s terrible. So I don’t have any interest in being part of their partisan games,” he said.
Illinois U.S. Representative Rodney Davis was named to the panel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, along with other Republicans, but his name was withdrawn when Pelosi objected to the appointment of two Trump supporters, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (OH) and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (IN). Pelosi appointed two Trump critics, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo).
Hawley announced before the January 6 certification of the election of Joe Biden as President that he would challenge that result. Hawley condemned the violent attack on the Capitol that day, but moved forward with his objections. He has consistently said that his actions did not incite the violence which followed on January 6.
Hawley told FOX2 Thursday that he had not been contacted by the House panel for testimony or documents.