A House committee on Friday moved to boost funding for the U.S. Capitol Police, following last week’s shooting attack on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice.
The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee drafted a bill to hike funding for the USCP to $422 million in fiscal 2018 – a $29.2 million increase over last year.
Additional funding for the USCP was being considered prior to the June 14 shooting in Alexandria, Va., but those efforts gained additional support in recent days. The USCP would, under the plan, receive an additional $7.5 million to hire 39 more officers and purchase extra protective gear.
“This is about security,” subcommittee Chairman Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., said Friday. “Security is on the minds of everyone. We are taking a fresh look at security and a number of improvements are in this bill.”
The House Sergeant at Arms office would receive an additional $5 million, an increase from the original $2.5 million proposed. The Sergeant at Arms office would work to enhance security for members and review additional ways to protect them in their home states and at events outside of the Capitol.
“The scariest part for us is there used to be the impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” the top Democrat on the subcommittee, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, said. “Now everyone knows that isn’t the case.”
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., a lobbyist, a congressional aide, and two USCP officers were injured and hospitalized in last week's shooting.
Immediately following the attack, lawmakers touted the "heroism" of the USCP, while raising questions as to security measures for members moving forward. USCP officers were only present at the baseball field because they were members of Scalise’s security detail.
“If Scalise was not there, he’s the only one with security detail, we wouldn’t have had any protection and God knows how bad that might have been,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, told “Fox & Friends” after the shooting.
“Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre—we had no defense, we had no defense at all,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-K.Y., said on “Fox & Friends.” “We were like sitting ducks.”
The House also plans to appropriate an additional $25,000 per member office to increase security for the rest of the 2017, and is reviewing the prospect of whether lawmakers can direct campaign funds for security purposes.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.