The newly unveiled federal budget bill contains two measures that will be crucial for preventing another attack like January 6 from happening.
The $1.7 billion omnibus spending package reforms how Congress counts Electoral College votes after a presidential election and also includes a major budgetary boost for U.S. attorneys investigating January 6 cases.
The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, which has bipartisan support, reaffirms that the vice president has only a ministerial role when Congress counts the Electoral College votes and cannot, as former President Donald Trump insisted, overturn the election results.
The bill also raises the minimum number of lawmakers required for an objection to the results to move forward.
The act has the full support of Democrats and the backing of many Republicans, including outgoing Representative Liz Cheney, who warned that the risk of another attempt to steal a presidential election is still high.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has not commented on the act—or really, for that matter, the insurrection—but he did urge Congress to pass the full omnibus.
The omnibus also increases the U.S. attorneys’ budget by $212.1 million for a total of $2.63 billion in 2023. The House Appropriations Committee explained the funds were necessary “to further support prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases.”
The FBI has arrested about 900 people connected to the insurrection and has the identities of hundreds more. A total of about 3,000 people could be charged over storming the Capitol, when all is said and done.
NBC reported in October that the Department of Justice is critically underfunded for the January 6 investigations, so the boost from the omnibus could help locate and charge anyone who was thinking of becoming a repeat offender.