Pro-Trump supporters breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote count that would certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in Washington, D.C., on January 6. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
July 27 (UPI) -- Senate negotiators have reached a deal on an estimated $2 billion emergency spending bill to provide funding for additional Capitol Hill security six months after the attack by radical supporters of former President Donald Trump, lawmakers announced Tuesday.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, told reporters that he and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., came to an agreement on the supplemental spending.
"Both sides had to compromise, but I think we're in pretty good shape," Leahy said.
Both senators said a vote could come as soon as Tuesday, or possibly Wednesday.
"Unless something happens, we're going to do it this afternoon," Shelby said.
The House passed its own version of the legislation in May, approving $1.9 billion for security upgrades.
The full text of the Senate version of the bill hasn't been revealed, but The Hill and Roll Call reported the upper chamber is expected to reimburse the National Guard $500 million for security provided in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building.
Another $600 million would go to the unrelated issue of helping Afghans under threat due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops secure visas to travel to the United States.
Some $300 million would be spent on Capitol security upgrades and the Capitol Police would receive $100 million.
"We're going to take care of the Capitol Police and fix some of the problems that need to be done here," Leahy told reporters. "Certainly, take care of the National Guard.
The announcement of a possible Senate deal comes as members of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack heard testimony on Tuesday from police officers injured while fighting off rioters.
It was the first hearing of the special committee formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to probe the attack. The rioters were attempting to disrupt the official certification of Joe Biden as president.
U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell told lawmakers how he was attacked by rioters and how he tried performing CPR in an attempt to save a woman who had breached the building.
"What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle; a violent mob intent of subverting our democracy," Gonell said. "My fellow officers and I were committed to not letting any rioters breach the Capitol.
Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police wipes away tears Tuesday as he testifies before members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo