WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of 32 Members of the House Thursday wrote to U.S. House leadership and the House Administration Committee to request increased security measures for Members of Congress, their families, and congressional staff — especially back in their home districts — in the wake of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and increasing threats to Members’ safety.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism advisory warning that cited a “heightened threat environment across the U.S.” This DHS National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin is in effect until April 30.
The bipartisan letter requests the following measures:
- Greater flexibility in Members’ office allowance for security purposes;
- Efforts to keep private the personal information and home addresses of Members;
- Bipartisan security briefings for Members on U.S. Capitol Police and House Sergeant at Arms actions;
- An independent review of and recommendations for security practices for Members, their families, and staff;
- Increased investment in this year’s office allowance to address additional security needs, given the increased threat level.
“Reflecting the tense and troubling times we live in, Members of Congress have reported receiving a significant uptick in threats of violence and even death,” the 32 Members wrote in a letter this week to Speaker Pelosi, Republican Leader McCarthy, House Administration Committee Chair Lofgren, and House Administration Committee Ranking Member Davis.
Members of Congress have reported receiving a significant uptick in threats of violence and even death. In the Summer of 2019, then Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that there were 4,894 cases of threats against Members in FY2018 and that FY2019 was on track to see an increase in the number of cases. This is compared to 902 investigated threats against Members back in 2016. The increased level of threats has overwhelmed the Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section.
The letter, led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Dean Phillips (MN-3), is also signed by Fred Upton, Sanford D. Bishop Jr., Carolyn Bourdeaux, Salud O. Carbajal, André Carson, Ed Case, David N. Cicilline, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Steve Cohen, Angie Craig, Sharice L. Davids, Madeleine Dean, Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Veronica Escobar, Chrissy Houlahan, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Henry C “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Daniel T. Kildee, Lucy McBath, Grace Meng, Stephanie Murphy, Scott H. Peters, Mike Quigley, Linda T. Sánchez, Terri A. Sewell, Darren Soto, Thomas R. Suozzi, and Juan Vargas.