Lawmakers Vote to Grant New Authority to Capitol Police

Lawmakers Grant New Authority to Capitol Police

( – During the Capitol riots on January 6, there was much confusion between the Capitol police and the federal government about mobilizing the National Guard for assistance. On December 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill to clear up and remove the bureaucracy that only added to the confusion. The Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act passed the Senate on December 13, allowing Capitol law enforcement to request National Guard assistance directly during urgent situations without having to get prior approval.

An official stated that the Pentagon is historically hesitant to send troops even when necessary. On January 6, sources said the government denied requests for help, and it reportedly took 90 minutes to approve the mayor’s call for assistance. With all the back and forth between defense officials, the White House, Capitol Police and the Pentagon, clarity for future incidents seemed necessary.

The bipartisan bill, originally introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), will give the Capitol police chief more power in an emergency situation to make independent decisions, rather than dealing with red tape.

The act will now head to the Oval Office for a signature from President Joe Biden to cement the measure into law.

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