WASHINGTON, DC – On the two-year anniversary of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement:

“Two years after a deliberate, violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, sanctioned by the former president, our country has come a long way.  But there is still a lot more work to do to protect the Capitol and defend our democracy.

“First, the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police need to know that the Congress has their backs. With the passage of the omnibus appropriations law, we are providing $734.5 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, which is $132 million more than fiscal year 2022, and we are making key investments in both resources and staffing to protect the Capitol complex.  This includes upgrades to both physical security and cyber defenses.  And we’re taking better care of our men and women in uniform to ensure they have the tools, protocols, and security technology upgrades they need, as well as the mental health resources all law enforcement officers should have.

“Second, Donald Trump himself needs to answer for his actions.  The bipartisan January 6 panel did the nation a tremendous service by laying out the facts and presenting the evidence, which was gathered largely from members of the Trump Administration and Republican officials.  Now it is up to a non-partisan, independent special prosecutor on how to proceed and that process must be conducted without political interference.

“Third, Congress eliminated the legal ambiguity in the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which Trump and his henchmen sought to contort into a legal justification in his attempt to cling to power after his 2020 election loss. The change will make it much harder for a sitting President, Vice President, or their allies in Congress to manipulate the system for counting and certifying electoral votes.

“Fourth, the insurrection was fueled by conspiracy theories and Trump’s blatant lies that his loss was the result of fraud or corruption rather than the will of the voters.  Good people across the political spectrum must continue to call out these types of lies and fight misinformation online and in the public square.

“And fifth, we must proactively safeguard the rights of the American voter.  Congress should pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.  These are essential reforms to protect our democratic system.

“I continue to urge my colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, to work together to protect our elections, our democracy, and the United States Capitol itself.  Our work is ongoing and so is the threat.  It demands our urgent attention and we must continue taking meaningful action to ensure another shameful assault like January 6, 2021 never happens again.”