January 11, 2021

Van Hollen, Norton Demand Congress Fully Fund D.C. Emergency Planning & Security Fund After D.C. Police Department Helped End Insurrection at U.S. Capitol

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) reiterated their call for Congress to fully fund the District of Columbia emergency planning and security fund (EPSF) in the future, including the $80 million the EPSF was shortchanged in the enacted fiscal year (FY) 2021 D.C. Appropriations bill. During the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, U.S. Capitol Police requested the assistance of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and MPD’s overwhelming response helped save the U.S. Capitol and the lives of Members of Congress, staff and employees, and end an insurrection. 

“Over his Presidency, Trump has decimated the D.C. Emergency Planning and Security Fund for his political stunts while both he and Congressional Republicans have refused to replenish it. As the District and the U.S. Capitol continue to face unprecedented attacks, including those incited by the President, it’s clear that these funds must immediately be restored to provide for the safety and security of our nation’s capital and its residents,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Our Metropolitan Police Department has always protected the federal presence in the nation’s capital, but it is no exaggeration to say that MPD helped save the legislative branch of the federal government during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week,” Congresswoman Norton said. “Over the last several years, Republicans have opposed fully funding the EPSF. Whatever their motivations may have been, Congress must never shortchange security in the nation’s capital again.” 

The federally funded EPSF pays for the unique public safety and security costs the District incurs as the nation’s capital, and is designed to cover the District’s costs upfront so D.C. does not need to expend local funds and then seek an appropriation to be reimbursed for such costs after the fact.

On November 16, 2020, Norton and Van Hollen sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Financial Services and General Government in support of D.C.’s request for $118.3 million for the ESPF in the final FY 2021 D.C. Appropriations bill. Despite this request, the enacted FY 2021 D.C. Appropriations bill provided only $38.4 million for the EPSF due to Republican opposition.