Commentary

Leahy: don’t defund Capitol Police

The following speech by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) was delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate. His office also issued an accompanying press release.

It was 169 days ago that the world witnessed a violent insurrection take place in the seat of American democracy. The memory of rioters in combat gear, armed with zip ties, smashing in the windows of the Capitol Building is seared into the American consciousness. The images of the National Guard patrolling the Capitol grounds behind fences topped with barbed wire will fill the pages of text books on American history for generations. 

We did not budget for an insurrection, and the path of destruction from that day left the Capitol Police force overburdened and under resourced.  Purchases of critical equipment, like respirators, ballistic helmets, protective gear, and training have been delayed to make up for these unanticipated costs.  Efforts to implement the Department’s wellness program to address mental health concerns following January 6 have been put on the back burner.  And if we do nothing, the Capitol Police projects that doing nothing will deplete salaries funds in August, which would be a security crisis of our own making.

Alarmingly, 55 sworn officers have left the force since January 6, further depleting a stressed force that is significantly below what is needed to meet mission requirements.  There is an urgent need to address the unanticipated costs associated with the attack on this Building, including significant overtime pay and the need for hazard pay and retention bonuses to keep these dedicated officers from leaving the force. 

This urgent need extends beyond the Capitol Police.  Last week, Secretary of Defense Austin testified before the full Appropriations Committee that if we do not act the National Guard will be forced to cut training in August as well.  I met with the Green Mountain Boys who came from Vermont to secure the Capitol after January 6, and I thanked them for their service.  I am sure many of you did the same.  But if we do not act, these visits were nothing more than empty words to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. 

Finally, the trauma of that day is shared by every member of the congressional community – from the Speaker of the House to the dedicated support staff we rely on every day to do our work.  It should not be lost on us that we were not the ones to sweep up the shattered glass and scrub the floors and walls of this Building on that day and throughout that night.  It should not be lost on us that during the darkest hours of the pandemic these public servants came to work to clean our offices, ensuring our safety and the safety of our staff, and boarded up shattered windows and broken doors. 

We did not budget for a pandemic and an insurrection, and we were forced to rob Peter to pay Paul to keep our Congressional community safe and healthy.  Necessary, legislative branch projects now lack the funding to move forward, and this shortfall needs to be addressed as well.

It has been 169 days since January 6, and it has also been 169 days since Republicans and Democrats reconvened in this chamber in bipartisan defiance of those who sought to overthrow democracy and the rule of law through mob violence. 

But now, for 35 days, the House-passed emergency supplemental to address the security and mental health needs of the January 6th insurrection, and the lingering scars of the COVID pandemic, has languished in the Senate, because Senate Republicans have refused to begin negotiations on a bipartisan path forward. 

Today, I am urging my colleagues to begin these negotiations, because the clock is ticking.  If we do not act, the Capitol Police will run out of funding in August.  We will be turning our backs on those who fought, bled, and died on that day to protect us and defend this building and everything it stands for.  We will be forcing the women and men of the National Guard to go without training that is necessary to achieve their mission.  And we will be telling the Capitol staff who support us that we do not support them. 

The Security Supplemental would address these shortfalls and provide new resources for overtime, hazard pay, mental health services, retention bonuses, and new equipment and training for the Capitol Police.  It would fully reimburse the National Guard for its costs incurred protecting the Capitol.  It would restore legislative branch funding that was taken to address the immediate need of keeping our congressional community safe and healthy. 

Categories: Commentary

12 replies »

  1. The so-called “insurrection” was an planned event by the deep state to try and make the American public who still believe in the Constitution and love freedom, who live in every state, county, town and village in America look like lawbreakers. The ones breaking the laws are the likes of Leahy. His polished words in this article will and does not cover all the evil he and his comrades in the Senate are doing to the great nation. The Truth is coming out and they are running scared. The clock is ticking and the house of cards is falling. The closer the “end” comes for them, the more pressure they will exert.

    Liberty is from God not men.

  2. For any Democratic Senator or Representative (Moe included) to “come out” as being pro Capital Police, when the vast majority of them have been screaming defund the police, or reimagine law enforcement ,is akin to all those folks that live in gated communities not giving a rat’s donkey what is going on outside of their fortress as long as their security is funded, and capable of protecting them. Time for you to retire or be or be beaten by someone that has not forgotten where Vermont is.

  3. What a hypocrite…Police for we…Not for thee….First chance my wife and I get, we’re moving to Florida because of his and so many others in this state, socialist ideals and the lies that they spew…Yet they are sure of re-election, time and time again…It’s pretty hopeless here politically…The woke college kids who descend from draft dodgers own this libtard state.

  4. As our national media is not covering this story, I would like to point out that a government agency, I believe to be the FBI, continued in the planning and execution of the January 6th event, which included destruction of property, by participating representatives of the FBI. The FBI helped plan and execute the January 6th event, as disclosed in a recent FOIA request. I find it amazing that no one discusses that a government agency has been weaponized against the American people. Obviously, Senator Leahey goes not want to disclose these facts.

  5. The use of old stock photos of Sir Patrick Leahy is funny – anyone seen him lately? He can barely talk or walk. Another one like Byrd and Thurman – riding in an ambulance to the Capitol and rolled in on stretcher or in a wheel chair! As much as the younger libs and progs think they have the upper hand, the real oldest crows in DC are total in control. The money controlling the old crows goes back even farther than them…insane world indeed.

    • The last time I saw the Senator, he arrived at the Wayside Dinner in a car that had Maryland plates. I think he just comes to Vermont for vacations. It’s sad, but I think that this native Vermonter has forgotten what being a real Vermonter is all about.

  6. Pat,

    I have been in constant contact with your office since the impeachment trial of president Trump in which you pretended to be an impartial judge.

    I have been asking you the question why jamie raskin the head of the impeachment managers has not been called out and prosecuted for bringing false evidence into the chambers to be heard against president Trump.

    I guess either you really don’t care about justice… Which by now everyone believes… Or you are part of the corruption that has a stronghold in this administration under the fraudulent joe biden.

    You took an oath of office and it was to the people of the United states of America not to the corruption that is taking place with your help and the help of Bernie sanders and peter welch…

    I find it is amazing that you were worried about your butt but you could care less about the people you are supposed to be protecting..

    It sure would be nice to have the corrupt people in the state of vermont that are supposed to be handling our affairs honestly and fairly expose your part in the eb-5 scandal..

    Most people like you would hang their head in shame but it is obvious that corrupt politicians have no shame.

    Justice is supposed to be blind… It’s not supposed to turn a blind eye to the criminals that line their pockets with the money of the hard-working taxpayers..

  7. The water is now low enough in the swamp for everyone to see all the creatures who are against America, Freedom, the Constitution and The People.

    Each state has it’s own swamp creatures.

    Time to come together and fight for our Freedom and Constitution in Vermont!

    Join: https://vtgrassroots.com

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