The progressive Squad nearly sunk a Capitol security bill Thursday backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over their objections to funding a “broken” policing system and ignoring the root cause of the Jan. 6 riot which they say is “White supremacy.”
The House barely passed the $1.9 billion supplemental budget for additional security funds during a heated vote that forced leadership to swarm the floor to whip votes. The final vote was 213-212 and illustrates the perils of the very narrow majority Democrats have in the House where just a few defections can kill a bill.
Three progressives joined with all Republicans in voting “no” against the bill: Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. And in an apparent compromise to avoid the bill from completely failing, three other Squad members voted “present” rather than no: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Jamaal Bowman of New York.
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“[T]here must be a comprehensive investigation and response to the attack on our Capitol and our democracy, one that addresses the root cause of the insurrection: white supremacy,” Bush, Omar and Pressley said in a joint statement Thursday. “This bill prioritizes more money for a broken system that has long upheld and protected the white supremacist violence we saw on display that day.”
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 12: Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) attends The National Council for Incarcerated Women and Girls “100 Women for 100 Women” rally in Black Lives Matter Plaza near The White House on March 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. The organization and its supporters are urging President Joe Biden to release 100 women currently incarcerated in federal prison. Bush voted “no” on May 20, 2021, against $1.9 billion in additional funding for Capitol security. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
As Democrats were trying to avoid disarray and pass the legislation, Republicans meanwhile contended some of their members were still trying to vote when the Democrats gaveled down the vote as completed. With just a one-vote margin in the balance, Republicans had it out with floor staff with how the vote went down.
The $1.9 billion funding legislation was a direct response to the Jan. 6 attacks and would boost funding for U.S. Capitol Police, the National Guard and Washington, D.C., and
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