In reaction to the Jan. 6 attack, the House narrowly accepted a $1.9 billion security improvement for the US Capitol on Thursday.
The budget bill was approved by a vote of 213-212 in the House, with Democratic members of the so-called “squad” introducing it.
Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) voted against the bill, while Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) voted “present.” The remaining Democrats voted in favour, while 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.
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.”