WASHINGTON - Today, Committee on House Administration Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01), and Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) delivered opening remarks at the full committee hearing entitled, "Looking Ahead Series: Oversight of the United States Capitol Police." 

Click the image or here to view Chairman Steil's opening remarks. 

Chairman Steil Opening Remarks:

Every day, the men and women of the United States Capitol Police safeguard the Capitol.

Not just the buildings, but the visitors, staff, and Members inside. 

This protection also extends to district offices and members’ homes across the country. 

Just yesterday, staff in Congressman Gerry Connolly’s Virginia office were attacked by a person with a baseball bat. 

This is abhorrent, and there is no room for political violence in our country. 

I’m grateful to local law enforcement who responded within 5 minutes, and to Capitol Police for their constant coordination with local law enforcement. 

During a time when threats against members and staff remain at record highs, I personally want to say thank you to the men and women of Capitol Police for all that you do. 

In doing your job, Capitol Police ensures Congress can do ours. 

This week is National Police Week. 

As we honor law enforcement across the country, I can think of no better way to thank the rank-and-file men and women who serve the United States Capitol Police than having a conversation with department leadership about how we can equip them with better tools and training, and ultimately work to depoliticize Capitol security. 

Following the January 6th attack on the Capitol, Capitol Police was placed under scrutiny by Congress and the general public. 

Since that time, the department has seen numerous reviews from federal oversight entities. 

Over 100 recommendations resulted from these reviews, with trends focusing on failures in intelligence gathering and sharing, communication breakdowns, equipment, training, leadership, and accountability.  

Much of the department’s focus over the last couple of years has been on closing these recommendations.  

I’m concerned that the department is not making the necessary changes with speed or efficiency, despite the department’s budget being at historic highs and one of the largest in the country.  

As Chairman, my goal is to depoliticize Capitol security. 

To do so, we must bring greater transparency into the operations and decision-making of the department. 

Today’s hearing will focus on increasing accountability, transparency, professionalism, and resilience within the U.S. Capitol Police through proper oversight. 

I recognize that Capitol Police has multiple oversight entities, sometimes with different views, and can often hamstring decision-making. 

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of the front-line officers and share their concerns, including: 

  • Inconsistent training. 
  • Outdated equipment. 
  • Forced overtime.   

I look forward to today’s hearing as we bring accountability and transparency to the department. 
We must also transform the department from a traditional police force to a protective force, while ensuring our officers have the tools needed to protect this institution now, and in the future.

Click the image or here to view Subcommittee Chairman Loudermilk's opening remarks. 
Chairman Loudermilk Opening Remarks:

As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, I'm focused on identifying the security failures leading up to and on January 6, 2021.

I’m concerned that to date, those failures have not been sufficiently addressed and that the department is not fully prepared to handle threats to the Capitol in the future.

As I’ve reviewed the records from the former January 6th Select Committee, I have more questions than answers related to Capitol security.

For example, in a recent court filing, several federal law enforcement agencies – including the FBI and DHS – stated they had plain-clothed officers at the Capitol that day. As did the Metro Police Department.

Today, I am sending a letter to MPD asking for more information about the officers they had at the Capitol that day. They were wearing plain clothes, as would be expected during a major event.

If they had prior threat intelligence to send officers to the Capitol that day, did they share it with Capitol Police? And if Capitol Police was aware of serious threats, why weren’t they prepared?

The many post-January 6th after action reports make clear we did have the intelligence, but there was a clear failure by USCP leadership, specifically at the Intelligence division, to disseminate that information.

Instead, our front-line officers were left unprepared.

This isn’t a political issue, and I'm sure my Democratic friends are willing to engage in a fair and factual assessment of the leadership failures at the USCP.

I’d like to submit for the record a transcript from a recent Fox News interview with former Capitol Police Lieutenant Tarik Johnson, who had repeatedly pleaded for help from department leadership over Capitol Police radio frequencies, yet he was met with silence every time.

His fellow officers heard the radio, so where was USCP leadership when officers pleaded for orders, direction, and assistance?

After taking action into his own hands and getting Members of Congress to safety, instead of receiving recognition, he was demoted.

Meanwhile, other officers and employees of the Capitol Police have been allowed to write books, make media appearances, and work with members of Congress to influence legislative activity.

It’s clear our officers were failed by leadership that day.

There must be accountability, so it never happens again.