U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger wants a $105.5 million budget increase for fiscal 2023 to hire more officers for what he describes as a severely understaffed department, an issue that has hampered the force since the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and slowed reopening of the Capitol area, Roll Call reports. Manger asked the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday for $708 million, an increase of 17.5 percent over the previous fiscal year. That would mark a $192.5 million boost from the 2021 fiscal year budget. Top appropriators signaled they are inclined to support the request. "We are here to fund the police,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the full Appropriations Committee. She said the department needs “more funding for staffing,” “increased overtime pay” and “most importantly a better work life balance.”
Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, an officer exodus and overwork have been major issues. From Jan. 6, 2021 to Jan. 6, 2022, the Capitol Police lost between 140 and150 officers, an attrition rate double that of normal years, Manger said. The department now has 1,849 officers, 300 short of what the chief said is necessary. "There's no magic wand here that we could just waive and all of a sudden there's 300 new officers. This is clearly a process," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), chairman of the subcommittee. "And you know, we want you to know that we're partners with you and as we appreciate your leadership, these are very difficult times and we have to be united as we move forward to try to do this." Salaries in the fiscal 2023 request would be $522.2 million, a $53.4 million increase over the previous fiscal year. Manger said one of the reasons so many officers left is because the department was “burning them out” by having them work forced overtime and canceling days off.