Yesterday, in my role as the Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee, I and Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro led a briefing on the security surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. As the leaders of the Committee responsible for funding the agencies charged with protecting the Capitol Building and keeping Members of Congress and staff safe, it is critical we investigate the circumstances surrounding the violent events of January 6th to prepare for and prevent future attacks. The current and former leadership of the U.S. Capitol Police, Sergeant at Arms, Department of the Army, D.C. National Guard, D.C. Metro Police Department, U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service, and the FBI were among those who participated in yesterday’s briefing—which was only the first of many actions the Committee will take.
The violent actions that occurred at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month represent an attack on all Americans, and on the democratic process that defines our great republic. To ensure that nothing like this ever happens again, we can’t simply point fingers. We must move quickly to identify the security successes and failures that led to the breach because, the reality is, the threat is not over.
Yesterday’s briefing was a critical first step for Members of Congress who will serve on the Appropriations Committee to understand exactly what happened on January 6th. While many questions remain, it is clear that the failure was not due to a lack of intelligence, but rather a failure to properly act on this intelligence. This is unacceptable and left our law enforcement men and women on the ground unprepared for the danger they would face. These heroes not only deserve our gratitude for successfully keeping Members and staff safe, they deserve answers and a commitment to do better.
I will continue working with Chair DeLauro and all Members of the Appropriations Committee to not only identify the root of the problem, but to take action within our Committee to evaluate what resources are needed so we never have another security failure like the one we had on January 6th.