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Legislative branch budget: Another proposed increase for Capitol Police

Threats against lawmakers have increased fourfold, chief says

Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger.
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Capitol Police would receive a significant funding boost under President Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal 2024 budget, according to figures released Monday.

The proposal — part of a $6.9 trillion budget blueprint — designates $841 million for the department, a 14 percent increase over the roughly $735 million enacted in fiscal 2023, which itself was a 22 percent increase over the previous year.

The department has sought funding increases after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and increasing threats against members of Congress and their families.

Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger called for additional funding last fall after the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the couple’s San Francisco home. Paul Pelosi required surgery to repair a skull fracture after an attacker entered the home and hit him with a hammer.

Manger testified in December that threats against members of Congress increased 400 percent over the past six years. More than 9,000 threats were registered in 2022 alone, he told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee late last year.

Of the total, roughly $612 million (72 percent) would go toward salaries as Manger aims to bring the department’s head count to 2,126 officers and 567 civilians.

The boost could also improve security for members outside of Washington, D.C., improve recruitment and retention, increase the department’s intelligence capabilities and replace outdated and ineffective equipment, according to a House Administration Committee budget estimate.

That increase is in line with the request overall for the legislative branch. Biden is seeking $7.4 billion for the branch, up from a fiscal 2023 enacted level of $7.1 billion. Legislative branch numbers are typically submitted by Congress for inclusion in the president’s budget.

The Members’ Representational Allowance, known as the MRA, which funds House office budgets and staffer salaries, would stay flat at $810 million.

Staff pay has lagged behind inflation for several decades but received renewed attention last year after Democrats passed a resolution allowing staff in members’ offices to unionize. Pelosi in May set a new minimum salary of $45,000 for full-time workers.

House Republicans, however, have urged budget cuts and attempted to quash staff unionization efforts since taking back the chamber in January.

Other notable Legislative Branch budget proposals:

  • The Congressional Budget Office would see funding rise from $63.2 million to $70.7 million.
  • The Senate would get a boost from $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.
  • The House would increase from $1.9 billion to a little more than $2 billion. 
  • Government Accountability Office funding would rise from $798 million to $859.6 million.
  • Government Publishing Office would increase from roughly $130 million to $132 million.  

Jim Saksa contributed to this report.

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