WASHINGTON – Employees of the United States Capitol Police are at risk of being laid off if Congress does not provide more money to the agency by the end of September.
Capitol Police will run out of money in the account used to pay wages in mid-August, but they may be able to lengthen the process and transfer money from other sources, NBC told NBC News a source close to the situation. The exhausted account status and the risk of time off were first reported by Punchbowl News.
Police released a statement saying the agency “continues to advise and work with” lawmakers to ensure they can continue to protect the Capitol and members of Congress.
Earlier this year, the House narrowly passed a $ 1.9 billion emergency spending measure to beef up security, including topping up the agency’s overtime until it can hire, train and deploy more officers. No Republican supported the measure in the House and it has since been blocked in the Senate.
The police have already detailed in previous testimony that officers have worked more overtime since the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol.
Senate Appropriation Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sounded the alarm bells about the stalled bill.
“Senate Republicans have refused to join bipartisan negotiations to address these urgent security needs, and now Capitol Police are at risk of running out of funding this summer,” Leahy said in a statement. “I pledge to introduce a bill to the Senate to address these important needs and prevent this self-taught crisis; it must be done. Without intervention, the ministry will deplete salary funds by early August.”
Earlier this week, Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said on the sixth anniversary of the Jan.6 attack that his agency had stepped up officer training, expanded the shared intelligence and purchased additional equipment such as helmets and shields. Pittman also said the department plans to open field offices in California and Florida.
Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed.