WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, delivered an opening statement Wednesday at a hearing with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger about Capitol security improvements since the January 6th attack.
Following his opening statement, Blunt questioned Chief Manger about U.S. Capitol Police workforce and readiness issues, leadership within the department, and prioritizing recommendations included in the joint,bipartisan report released by the Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees in June 2021.
CLICK HERE to Watch Blunt’s Opening Remarks
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“Well, thank you, Senator Klobuchar. I’m glad to be here today, and I’m glad we have the chance to thank Chief Manger for joining us and for the leadershiphe’s already provided to the Capitol Police.
“The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a tragic day for our country. Everyone who took part in that attack should be prosecuted based on their actionsand plans. That process continues, and I support it.
“As we approach [tomorrow’s] one-year anniversary of the attack, it’s important we keep the Capitol Police officers and those from other responding agencies,including the D.C. Metropolitan Police—who were here within minutes and made an incredible difference in the ability to respond, along with the National Guard, federal law enforcement, and others who we really need to keep in the front of our minds as we havethis discussion today with the chief.
“You know, the U.S. Capitol is our most iconic symbol of democracy. The whole world was watching to see how we responded to the attack. These officers werethe true heroes of January 6. They defended the Capitol and everyone who works here bravely and without hesitation.
“Thanks to their efforts, as Senator Klobuchar just pointed out, we were able to return to the Senate and House chambers and finish our work. We’re able toshow the world that when our system is tested, it will prevail.
“My colleagues and I are profoundly grateful for the Capitol Police’s continued dedication to the mission to protect the Congress. It’s our job to honor theirservice by doing our part to ensure that they are never faced with the circumstances they were faced with that day.
“The committee has held a number of hearings with respect to the events of January 6. This is the fifth of those hearings. Throughout those hearings and inour subsequent actions, Chairman Klobuchar and I are proud of the bipartisan way that we’ve been able to move forward to show that we want to ensure the Capitol Police have the resources necessary to protect both the Congress and the agency’s most valuable asset, the officers themselves.
“Senator Klobuchar and I introduced legislation with many of our colleagues on this committee, which passed both the House and Senate by unanimous consent and was signed into law by the president on December the 22nd.
“This legislation, the Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act of 2021, provides the Capitol Police Chief with unilateral authority to request emergency assistance from the National Guard and other federal law enforcement agencies in emergencies.
“As I previously mentioned, we held a number of hearings on this subject and released a bipartisan report with the Homeland Security and the Governmental Affairs Committee in June of 2021, which outlines several recommendations based on extensive interviews with key decision makers, firsthand accounts from law enforcement personnel, and the review of thousands of documents.
“We’ve continued to pursue more information on this issue. We’ve also worked with our colleagues on the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to provide the department with additional and necessary funding for salaries, overtime pay, trauma support, riot control equipment for all officers, and specialized training.
“Certainly, Chairman Leahy’s leadership on that piece of legislation, along with Senator Shelby, made a big difference in quickly responding to what was the immediate need of the department after the increased workload and the stress of what happened a year ago.
“Beyond the work of Congress, the Capitol Police have been reviewing operations and looking at necessary changes within the department. We twice heard from the inspector general, including last month, as he concluded his 11-month investigation into the department’s preparations for and response to the events of January 6.
“I appreciate today’s opportunity to hear from Chief Manger on the security enhancements his department has made over the past year, the work being done toimprove officer morale and retention, as well as the chief’s observations after six months in command and his goals and visions for the department moving forward.
“One year after January the 6th, 2021, we acknowledge that there’s been considerable progress but also acknowledge—I’m sure the chief does from his comments today—that much work remains to be done.
“We’ll continue to work together to ensure the department addresses its critical needs and is positioned be better trained, better equipped, and better prepared in the future. We owe that to the frontline USCP officers who protect Members of Congress, congressional officers, employees, and visitors to the Capitol every day. We also, by the way, owe that to their families.
“Chief Manger, thank you for being here with us today. I look forward to hearing from you as you reflect on the changes that the department has made over the past year and what work remains to be done. Thank you, Chair.”