Washington DC [US], July 30 (ANI): The US Congress has approved emergency funds to boost the Capitol Police and strengthen security after the January 6 riot, and to evacuate Afghans who helped American forces from their country.
"This USD 2.1 billion dollar package is designed to address the aftermath of the violent insurrection that took place on January 6, heal the remaining scars of the COVID pandemic on the Capitol complex, and provide the resources we need to ensure the safety of our Afghan partners as we conclude our mission in that country," said Senator Patrick Leahy.
Senator Leahy and other the senate appropriations committee members led negotiations on the bill and came to an agreement earlier this week after months of back-and-forth, USA Today reported. After Thursday, now the bill heads to President Biden's desk for a signature.
"If we do not act, the Capitol Police will deplete salaries funding in a matter of weeks, and the National Guard will be forced to cancel needed training to carry out their mission at home and abroad. Doing nothing would be a security crisis entirely of our own making," said Leahy.
The senator further said that the bill prevents that crisis and provides the Capitol Police with $70.7 million in resources for overtime pay, retention bonuses, mental health services, new equipment and training.
On the relocation of Afghan refugees, Leahy said the US must stand with the brave Afghans who supported their mission through two decades of war.
He also rooted for additional special immigrant visas (SIVs) for translators and other Afghans who worked with Americans over the past two decades, as well as for additional humanitarian relief to Afghan refugees.
"Our bill does just that. It provides USD 1.125 billion to fulfill our commitment to these brave Afghans. These funds will support emergency transportation, housing, and other essential services to our Afghan partners coming to the US under Special Immigrant Visas, and humanitarian aid for the inevitable flood of Afghans fleeing to neighboring countries," Leahy added. (ANI)