House Republican warns conservatives' spending cuts could 'paralyze' Capitol Police force
Updated: 11:50 a.m.
A Republican House member issued a statement on Friday warning that an amendment proposed by conservative members of his party could force the U.S. Capitol Police to lay off hundreds of officers.
California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, chairman of the Committee on House Administration, said that the amendment, sponsored by Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio), would "paralyze" the Capitol Police force.
"Initial estimates indicate that an 11% cut to the U.S. Capitol Police's budget -- already under enormous strain -- would result in the number of our sworn officers being reduced by the hundreds," Lungren said. "A cut this size would paralyze the force's ability to protect the Capitol complex. I understand and fully support efforts to reduce federal spending, but I cannot and will not support a cut that will be of such great consequence to the safety of this institution."
Lungren, who himself is a member of the Republican Study Committee, made the statement a day after he circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter to members urging them to defeat the Jordan amendment.
Jordan has defended the amendment, which he says would force Congress to tighten its belt just as the rest of the federal government has been forced to do.
The amendment would cut an additional $20 billion in federal spending through September. That's on top of the $61 billion already proposed by House Republicans last week.
Worth noting is that the Capitol Police are one of the few federal entities that would receive more, not less, money under House Republicans' spending plan. The GOP funding resolution would add $12.5 million to the Capitol Police budget compared to current spending levels, even as federal spending in other areas would be drastically cut.
That increase in part is due to a ramping up of security on the Capitol grounds in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in Tucson last month.
| February 18, 2011; 11:14 AM ET
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