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House approves $1.9B U.S. Capitol security bill, by single vote

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- The House on Thursday narrowly approved a $1.9 billion security upgrade for the U.S. Capitol in response to the Jan. 6 attack.

The chamber voted 213-212 in favor of the spending bill, with Democratic members of the so-called "squad" putting the legislation in chamber.

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Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., voted against the measure, while Reps. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., voted "present." All remaining Democrats voted in favor and all Republicans voted against.

Ilhan said she couldn't justify voting for the legislation, which would need to pass the Senate and get a signature from President Joe Biden to be fully approved.

"We have not really been made to understand how the money will actually increase the safety and the capacity and the failures that occurred on Jan. 6," Ilhan told reporters after the vote.

In addition to upgrading security, the money would cover costs associated with damage caused by the riot, during which supporters of former President Donald Trump busted windows and otherwise broke into the Capitol, vandalized the interior and ransacked offices.

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, told her colleagues the funding is necessary to protect democracy.

"The funding is not optional," she said in a floor speech. "This vote is not a show vote.

"It's about protecting the seat of our democracy and the men and the women and the young people who work here and serve it."

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