On Tuesday, the National Guard’s stay at the Capitol was extended to May 23, which is expected to cost $111 million according to the Pentagon, according to the Wall Street Journal. That cost will be in addition to the $410 million dollar cost that has already been accumulated through the first three months of the mission.
According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the Defense Department will be funding the $521 million expenditure.
The cost report comes during increasing bi-partisan skepticism of the purpose of the National Guard’s stay. Originally deployed following the Capitol riot on January 6, the National Guard were thought to be leaving following President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, but have remained due to security concerns. In late February, it was reported that there was no definite timeline for the National Guard’s stay.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and ranking member Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) released a joint statement regarding the issue on Thursday.
“As the U.S. Capitol Police continues to build its personnel capacity, there is no doubt that some level of support from the National Guard should remain in the National Capital region to respond to credible threats against the Capitol," the statement read. "However, the present security posture is not warranted at this time."
On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a Capitol Police request to reduce the number of troops to 2,300 through May 23, more than halving the nearly 5,100 troops currently stationed at the Capitol.