Contact: Kristie Eshelman 

Email: keshelman@niskanencenter.org

Washington, D.C. July 28, 2021 — The Niskanen Center strongly supports the $2.1 billion bipartisan spending package brokered by Senate Appropriations Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL). 

This bipartisan deal provides $600 million to resettle U.S.-affiliated refugees from Afghanistan and nearly $900 million to support and enhance security at the Capitol complex. These critical emergency spending measures are needed to resettle Afghans and their families who put their lives on the line to support our military in Afghanistan and to bolster security and reimburse costs from the fallout of the January 6th attack on our nation’s capital. 

“As a veteran, I have seen first-hand how critical local allies are to ensuring the safety of U.S. soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. We made promises to those who risked their lives that the U.S. would keep them safe in return for their assistance, and our withdrawal from Afghanistan intensifies the need to make good on those promises. Swift funding and new efficiency measures are the only way to immediately evacuate our allies in the region who are under increasing threat from our shared enemies,” said Joe Coon, Niskanen Center Senior Vice President. 

Coon adds, “This week, Capitol Police officers are testifying about the horrors of the January 6th attack. This spending package rightfully includes millions for hazard pay and trauma support, upgrades to Senate and House office buildings, increased protective detail for members of Congress, and more. The Capitol Police play a vital role in protecting the democratic process and deserve the resources and support after the violence, brutality, and trauma of that fateful day. This investment in capital security is an investment in the democratic process, and funding should not be delayed another day.” 

The Niskanen Center applauds this bipartisan agreement and encourages all Senators to vote in favor to advance U.S. interests at home and abroad. We look forward to Senate passage and a House vote as soon as possible. 

For more on Joe Coon’s story of bringing his interpreter to the U.S., see “The Long, Frustrating Fight to Get an Iraqi Interpreter Out of Baghdad and Into the U.S.” 

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The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.