June 08, 2021
WASHINGTON – At the weekly Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, discussed the bipartisan report on the security, planning, and response failures related to the attack on the Capitol on January 6th.
The report, led by the Committees on Rules and Administration and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, includes a series of recommendations for the Capitol Police Board, United States Capitol Police, federal intelligence agencies, the Department of Defense, and other Capital region law enforcement agencies.
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“Well, today the Rules Committee, the Homeland Security Committee issued a report on January the 6th and what happened here at the Capitol. Senator Portman and I, working with Senator Klobuchar and Senator Peters to come forth with that report, really five months after that date. 127 page report, 20 recommendations in the report itself—some to the FBI, some to Homeland Security, some to the Capitol Police. And then, we referenced, with approval of the effort they've gone through, another 65 recommendations from the Capitol Police Inspector General. We'll have hearings next week in the Rules Committee with the inspector general looking at those 65 recommendations.
“I think the one that requires legislative action would give the ability to the chief of the Capitol Police, without the police board being involved, in an emergency to ask for outside assistance. I've thought for a long time that the police board barely functions at the best of times, and in a crisis, the police board, which is the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House, and the Architect of the Capitol, all three have principal responsibilities that absolutely demand their attention in a way that they are unlikely to act as a police board to pay attention to the overall problem because they've got their own responsibilities that day. That's a piece of legislation I believe the Congress will easily pass, and Senator Klobuchar and I will introduce that legislation next week.
“I think we can move quickly on these recommendations. They are the kinds of things that with one legislative change in the kind of oversight that particularly comes through the appropriations process—we need to make not just one, short-time emergency commitment to how we secure this building but the kind of commitment that we can maintain year after year.
“I would say, in addition to the 18 people we either had extensive interviews with or brought to the two public hearings, we had input from over 50 members of the Capitol Police. And I think everybody in the Senate, everybody in the House, certainly the people on our two committees, left with even a heightened sense of appreciation for the courage that the officers had, the ability that they had under the worst of circumstances to do everything they could do and of course, we're extremely grateful, but saddened by the fact that, you know, seven lives were lost either during that event or after that event. And many of our police officers continue to have significant problems because of what they faced that day and really, frankly, the lack of equipment that worked, the lack of a plan that they needed.
“And so, the decision of who's the next police chief, that will be decided by the police board, but we've encouraged the police board to reach out to the members, to the staff, to the Capitol community, but particularly to reach out to the Capitol Police as they look at what we need to move forward with these 20 specific changes in the overall structure and 65 specific changes we'll be talking about for just the Capitol Police in the next few weeks.”