Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 3237 – Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021
Background: Congress has historically acted to provide supplemental appropriations outside the annual appropriations cycle to meet unexpected and urgent needs. Additional funds have been requested by the U.S. Capitol police to meet unanticipated needs resulting from enhanced security requirements for the U.S. Capitol complex. Supplemental funding is also urgently needed to fully fund the cost of the National Guard deployment to Capitol Hill. In addition, the Biden administration has requested supplemental funding for the Departments of Defense, State, and Health and Human Services to meet immediate security and humanitarian needs related to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. H.R.3237, the Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, 2021, passed the House on May 20 by a vote of 213-212. The House-passed legislation did not include funding and policy provisions related to the resettlement of Afghan allies.
Floor Situation: The Senate is expected to consider the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R.3237 on the floor the week of July 26.
Executive Summary: The Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 provides $2.1 billion for U.S. Capitol complex security and COVID-19 mitigation, as well as humanitarian support and assistance for Afghan refugees. Approximately $1 billion of the total is provided the Department of Defense, including $521 million for National Guard expenses and $500 million to evacuate Afghan allies due to the U.S. troop drawdown. Approximately $600 million is provided to the Department of State for refugee and migration assistance and the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program. Approximately $448 million is provided to legislative branch agencies for U.S. Capitol complex security and COVID-19 mitigation.
OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUE
Supplemental funding is required to meet immediate security needs resulting from enhanced security requirements for the U.S. Capitol complex and the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. This includes additional funds to meet unanticipated needs for the U.S. Capitol Police such as salaries and expenses for overtime costs, upgraded equipment, and training, as well as funding for the Architect of the Capitol for physical security infrastructure improvements.
Supplemental funding is also urgently needed to fully fund the cost of the National Guard deployment to Capitol Hill to prevent cancellation of summer drills for members of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
As the U.S. withdraws troops from Afghanistan, the Departments of Defense and State require additional resources to provide humanitarian support and assistance for Afghan refugees expected to flee their homes in the coming months.
CONSIDERATIONS ON THE BILL
Funding to reimburse the cost of the National Guard deployment to Capitol Hill is urgently needed to prevent cancellation of summer drills for members of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
The U.S. Capitol Police require additional resources to pay salaries and general expenses relating to the response to the January 6 attack.
The United Nations estimates that at least 500,000 Afghans will flee their homes in the coming months. Adjustments to current visa limits are necessary to ensure the safety of Afghans who helped U.S. forces reach safety and avoid death at the hands of the Taliban. Additional funding is also required to help the State Department expedite processing their visas without compromising security screening.
Senator Shelby, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee stated: “ I am pleased this legislation sticks to immediate security needs, as I have long advocated. It is essential that we provide the National Guard and Capitol Police the funding they require without further delay. It is also critical that we not leave behind those who helped us in Afghanistan once President Biden fully withdraws U.S. troops later this year. I am glad the administration at long last provided Congress the information necessary to address this urgent need. I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.”
NOTABLE BILL PROVISIONS
Security of the U.S. Capitol Complex
$70.7 million in salaries and general expenses for the Capitol Police response to the January 6 attack and to meet urgent gaps and demands to protect the U.S. Capitol Complex, including:
- $31.1 million to backfill overtime expected until the department can hire, train, and deploy more officers and for benefits to retain current officers
$4.4 million for wellness and trauma support
$3.3 million for the Intelligence Division for intelligence analysts and technical resources
$5.8 million for protective details for members of Congress
$5 million for equipment and services
$2.6 million to procure basic riot control equipment to outfit all officers with ballistic helmets, batons, and body shields
$6.8 million for Capitol Police specialized training
$35.4 million for mutual aid reimbursements and related training for existing mutual aid agreements between the Capitol Police and federal, state and local law enforcement partners
$300 million for the Architect of the Capitol$283 million to upgrade accessible windows and doors of the Capitol building and Senate and House office buildings
- $283 million to upgrade accessible windows and doors of the Capitol building and Senate and House office buildings
$17 million to install new cameras around the Senate and House office buildings
Includes a prohibition on funds being used to install permanent, above-ground fencing around the U.S. Capitol grounds
$521 million to the Department of Defense to fully fund the cost of the National Guard deployment to Capitol Hill
Legislative Branch COVID-19 Response and Mitigation
$42.1 million, including:
$22 million for the Architect of the Capitol, including for enhanced cleaning, personal protective equipment, telework equipment, essential overtime pay, and salaries of employees of impacted contractors subject to furloughs and/or layoffs
$7.8 million for the Senate sergeant at arms, including for personal protective equipment, telework equipment, contractor support costs, and emergency supplies
$800,000 for the U.S. Capitol Police, including for personal protective equipment and hotel rooms for officers and civilian staff who were unable to return home due to someone in their home testing positive for COVID-19
Humanitarian Support and Assistance for Afghan Refugees
$500 million in Department of Defense overseas humanitarian, disaster, and civic aid to provide emergency transportation, housing, and other essential services to Afghan partners leaving the country
$25 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide assistance to Afghans granted special immigration status once they have arrived in the United States
$600 million to the Department of State for refugee and migration assistance and to improve and strengthen the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program
$500 million to provide emergency transport, temporary housing, and other basic services for Afghans who qualify for SIVs after serving as translators and in other capacities for the U.S. military
$100 million for assistance for Afghan refugees in neighboring countries and for other humanitarian needs in Afghanistan
Increases the number of authorized Afghan SIVs by 8,000; changes the employment requirement for SIV applicants who submitted petitions after September 30, 2015, from two years to one year (under current law, pre-September 2015 applicants have a one-year employment requirement and post-September 2015 applicants have a two-year requirement); postpones the required medical exam until the applicant and his or her family have arrived safely in the United States; removes the “sensitive and trusted” requirement for “International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support” employment; provides for special immigrant status for certain surviving spouses and children of U.S. government employees abroad who were killed in the line of duty, even if they had not served for the full 15 years required by current law; streamlines the existing SIV application process for surviving spouses and children of Afghan translators who died before their application was approved.
$1.1 million to reimburse state and local governments in providing security for the president-elect between the election and the inauguration
$348,000 for customary death gratuities for the families of the late Representatives Ron Wright and Alcee Hastings
The White House has not yet released a Statement of Administration Policy on the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021.
The legislation provides approximately $2.1 billion in supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2021. CBO has not yet issued a score for this bill.