Providing $2.1 Billion to Improve Capitol Security & Speed the Evacuation of Afghan Translators to the U.S. (H.R. 3237)
Do you support or oppose this bill?
What is H.R. 3237?
(Updated February 23, 2022)
This bill was enacted on July 30, 2021
This bill has been amended by the Senate with a $2.1 billion supplemental spending package for Capitol security, the National Guard, and to facilitate the processing of Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan interpreters and their families. The original House bill only included funding for Capitol security. A breakdown of the current bill’s provisions can be found below.
January 6th Response
This section would provide the National Guard with $521 million for unanticipated pay and operational costs during the Guard’s 2021 deployment at the Capitol and to prevent the cancellation of summer drills for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard caused by the shortfall.
A District of Columbia Emergency Planning and Security Fund would be established and funded with $66.8 million for the reimbursement of the District of Columbia for costs incurred in response to the January 6th attack and other costs of providing security for federal functions in D.C.
The Capitol Police would receive $70.7 million in response to the attack, including:
$31.1 million for salaries to backfill overtime expected until the Capitol Police can hire, train, and deploy additional officers; and to provide benefits to current officers including $6.9 million for hazard pay, $3.6 million for retention bonuses, and $2.5 million for tuition credits.
$6.8 million for specialized training, including collective threat, cyber, intelligence, and counter assault training; in addition to physical protection barriers and specialized vehicle and tactical training for the Civil Disturbance Unit.
$5.8 million for protective details for members of Congress.
$5 million for equipment and service reimbursement.
$4.4 million for wellness and trauma support.
$2.6 million for riot control equipment,
Architect of the Capitol: $300 million to upgrade windows and doors at the Capitol and congressional office buildings and install new cameras around those facilities.
Mutual Aid Reimbursements for Law Enforcement Partners: $35.4 million for mutual aid reimbursements and related training for existing mutual aid agreements between the Capitol Police and federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.
Afghan Humanitarian Assistance
The Dept. of Defense would receive $500 million in funding to provide emergency transportation, housing, and other essential services to Afghan partners and their families as they leave Afghanistan.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services would receive $25 million to provide Afghans with transitional medical and social assistance after they’ve received special immigration status and arrived in the U.S.
The State Dept. would receive $600 million for refugee and migration assistance and to improve the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, including:
$500 million for emergency transport, temporary housing, and other basic services for Afghans who qualify for Special Immigrant Visas after serving as translators and in other capacities for the U.S. military.
$100 million for assistance for Afghan refugees in neighboring countries and for other humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, as current estimates project 500,000 Afghans will flee their homes in the coming months.
The Afghan SIV program would undergo the following reforms under this bill:
The number of Afghan SIVs would be increased by 8,000 to meet demand.
Employment requirement for eligibility would be reduced from two years to one year.
Required medical exams would be postponed until the applicant and their family have arrived safely in the U.S.
The “sensitive and trusted” requirement for International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support employment would be removed.
SIV status would be available to surviving spouses and children of murdered applicants.
$348,000 would be provided for customary death gratuities for the families of the late Reps. Ron Wright (R-TX) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL).
Argument in favor
This updated bipartisan bill covers costs related to the response to the attack at the Capitol on January 6th and funds much-needed improvements to security at the Capitol. It also expedites the process for Afghans who face threats from the Taliban and are coming to the U.S., while providing humanitarian assistance.
This bill provides too much funding for advanced training and riot control equipment for the Capitol Police. Alternatively, it shouldn’t provide relief to Afghans who face threats from the Taliban and are eligible to come to the U.S.
Capitol security; law enforcement and other federal agencies that provide security at the Capitol, lawmakers’ offices, plus Afghans and agencies providing humanitarian assistance and helping them come to the U.S.
Cost of H.R. 3237
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered the following statement on this package:
“We have the responsibility to take care of the Capitol Police in the wake of their incredible service on January 6th, and to reimburse our National Guard for costs incurred protecting the Capitol. We have the responsibility to pay for costs we have already incurred as a result of the pandemic. And we have the moral responsibility to stand with our Afghan partners who stood with us through two decades of war. This bipartisan agreement addresses these critical needs, and it addresses them now because they cannot wait. I want to thank my dear friend Vice Chairman Shelby for his diligent work throughout this process.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) added:
“I am pleased this legislation sticks to immediate security needs, as I have long advocated. It is essential that we provide the National Guard and Capitol Police the funding they require without further delay. It is also critical that we not leave behind those who helped us in Afghanistan once President Biden fully withdraws U.S. troops later this year. I am glad the Administration at long last provided Congress the information necessary to address this urgent need. I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Press Release
Senate Appropriations Committee Republicans Press Release
Senate Appropriations Committee Summary
(Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr via Flickr / Public Domain)
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