(USA Features) Sen. Tom Cotton on Tuesday acknowledged that U.S. Capitol Police work in tandem with federal agencies in most states but pushed back on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to open branch offices for the USCP in Florida, California, and other states.
“I mean, first, let me say, I have the deepest admiration and gratitude for the frontline Capitol police officers, who keep us safe every single day,” Cotton, an Arkansas Republican and former U.S. Army infantry officer with multiple combat tours, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Tuesday night.
“The Capitol Police, though, are there to protect the Capitol. They do work with us in our home states,” Cotton said.
“And I can tell you that the Capitol Police have always had a productive and cooperative and professional relationship with their federal counterparts here in Arkansas — FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and also with our local police and local sheriff’s departments,” the Arkansas lawmaker continued.
“Those are the police forces that are here to help us in our home states and our home districts,” he said before pushing back on Pelosi’s decision to move offices into states.
“The Capitol Police need to be focused on our Capitol. I think Nancy Pelosi needs to explain why these offices should be opened up,” said the senator.
“I think it is convenient, as you say, that the first one is proposed to be opened in San Francisco, given the skyrocketing crime rates there and the fact that people can just walk in the CVS or Walgreens,” he continued.
“Maybe Nancy Pelosi should focus on the San Francisco police, and especially on her George Soros-backed prosecutor who refuses to prosecute basic shoplifting,” Cotton added.
In a statement, the U.S. Capitol Police said that opening up branch offices in states is no different than the FBI or Secret Service having field offices.
The reason why Florida and California were chosen first is because those states “are where the majority of our potential threats are.
“A regional approach to investigating and prosecuting threats against Members is important, so we will be working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in those locations,” the statement said, adding: “More field offices will be opening in the future.”
Critics are also questioning whether the Capitol Police have any jurisdiction beyond the U.S. Capitol, and why branch offices are needed now when they weren’t needed before.
The agency is also hiring, according to a Twitter post.
This is your time to be a part of history.
We offer a starting salary of $64,815 with extensive career advancement opportunities, excellent federal benefits, and tuition reimbursement.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) June 28, 2021