Shooting forces lawmakers to rethink their security

The capturing at a baseball subject that critically wounded a Republican congressman and injured a number of others is forcing lawmakers to ask what extra must be accomplished to make sure the security of themselves and their employees.

Home Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi stated Thursday she favors extra money for the U.S. Capitol Police, which is in search of an eight % improve to just about $427 million for subsequent yr. Pelosi stated extra money would assist the company improve its presence when members of Congress, employees and others congregate away from the Capitol.

“It is safety for different people who find themselves there, too,” she stated. “If someone is coming after a member of Congress, you do not need to be anyplace close by.”

Members of the U.S. Capitol Police engaged in a shootout with the assailant on Wednesday, and lawmakers stated their presence in all probability prevented many deaths. Two cops have been injured; the shooter, James Hodgkinson, later died.

The Capitol Police have been on the ballfield in Virginia as a result of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is almost all whip and member of the management. Different members of Congress usually are not afforded the identical safety as congressional leaders.

“It appears self-evident that when the groups are working towards, there must be safety there,” Pelosi stated.

Even earlier than the capturing, Speaker Paul Ryan and Pelosi had begun speaking about modifications that would enhance members’ security, stated Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Robust.

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who was on the baseball apply when the capturing occurred, stated one of many classes lawmakers discovered from the capturing of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011 was to seek the advice of intently with native regulation enforcement. He stated political passions have solely elevated since then, notably in current months.

“All of that warmth is totally different than what it was when Gabby acquired shot, so yeah, I feel we’ll take a tough take a look at it,” Conaway stated. “We do not have to be knee-jerk reactionaries. We have to assess what the actual dangers are.”

He was struck by the truth that the attacker was armed with a rifle whereas the cops solely had pistols. He stated the officers “may need put the man down faster if that they had been in a position to make use of an extended gun as an alternative of simply pistols.”

“One of many issues I feel we have to take a look at is what they’ve obtainable for them ought to one thing like this occur sooner or later,” Conaway stated.

Whereas the officers didn’t use rifles in responding to the capturing Wednesday, it’s common for them to hold rifles whereas…

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