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Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Congress passed legislation Tuesday that will allow the Capitol Police chief to "unilaterally" request assistance from the D.C. National Guard or federal law enforcement agencies in emergencies.

Why it matters: Lawmakers have previously said the lack of authority to directly request assistance delayed the National Guard's response to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and left Capitol Police officers stranded and outnumbered during most of the attack.

The big picture: A Senate report released in June found that "opaque processes and a lack of emergency authority" delayed requests for National Guard assistance during the attack and recommended a measure that would give the Capitol Police chief more authority over assistance requests.

  • Currently, the Capitol Police Board must approve assistance requests, though members of the board on Jan. 6 "did not appear to be fully familiar with the statutory and regulatory requirements" for making the request, according to the report.

What they're saying: "January 6th showed us that every minute counts during an emergency," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who introduced the legislation with Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), said in a statement after it passed the Senate.

  • “Our report found that Capitol Police officers and their law enforcement partners were left alone to defend the Capitol and our democracy itself from violent insurrectionists, while the Chief of the Capitol Police was delayed in obtaining approval to request help from the National Guard," she added.
  • “I have long been concerned that the structure of the Capitol Police Board creates unnecessary delays when swift, decisive action is needed. This bipartisan bill addresses a major security challenge that was evident on January 6th, and is part of our ongoing effort to strengthen Capitol security moving forward," Blunt said in a statement.

What's next: The bill now heads to President Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

Go deeper: D.C. attorney general suing Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan. 6

Go deeper

Oath Keepers leader indicted on charges related to Jan. 6

Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Stewart Rhodes, a founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, has been arrested and charged in connection with events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Rhodes is the most prominent figure arrested on charges related to the Capitol insurrection.

Pence: "Tragic" Jan. 6 no reason to scrap filibuster

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an attempt to "overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."

Why it matters: Though the former vice president's op-ed in the Washington Post focuses on rebutting filibuster reforms, these are also the most public statements Pence has made about the post-election narrative and the attack as an effort to interfere with President Biden's victory.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

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