House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports a call from House lawmakers for more funding for additional security provisions in Congress following the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January and attempts among several House Republicans to bring firearms into the chambers.
“I do believe, and I have said this all along, we will need a supplemental for more security for members, when the enemy is within the House of Representatives, a threat that members are concerned about, in addition to what is happening outside,” the speaker told reporters on Thursday.
Asked to clarify her “enemy” comments, she said: “It means we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and who have threatened other members of Congress.”
House Republicans Andy Harris, Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn have sought to bring guns to the Capitol, and newly elected GOP congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has appeared to endorse violence towards her now colleagues in recently uncovered posts on social media from 2019 and 2018.
In a letter to House leadership, a group of more than 30 lawmakers have requested permission to rely on congressional allowances for additional personal safety in their home districts by hiring local law enforcement or other security personnel.
"While the US Capitol is protected by the United States Capitol Police with the support of strong security measures, including vehicle barriers and metal detectors, most members spend the majority of their time in their Congressional Districts where security is often sparse,” they wrote.
Speaker Pelosi condemned former president Donald Trump for “fanning the flame” of violence and “endangering the security of members of Congress to the point that they’re even concerned about members of the House of Representatives being a danger to them."
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism advisory bulletin due to a “heightened threat environment" across the US. The agency warned that anti-government “ideologically motivated violent extremists” motivated by “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives” could “continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence” after being emboldened by the Capitol attack.
“Protecting the Capitol is a matter of protecting our democracy,” Speaker Pelosi said. “The House will not be distracted or delayed from our work to crush the [coronavirus], to meet the needs of the Americans people, and to do so in a way that is fair and just."
She also condemned House GOP leadership after Congresswoman Greene was placed on an education committee despite a growing list of uncovered social media posts from 2018 and 2019 appearing to show her supporting conspiracy theories about “false flag” school shootings and endorsing violence towards lawmakers.
“Assigning her to the education committee when she has mocked the killing of little children,” she said. "When she has mocked the killing of teenagers … What could they be thinking? Or is thinking too generous of a word for what they might be doing."
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