According to POLITICO, lawmakers around the country are seeking to purchase security equipment like panic buttons, bulletproof vests, and gas masks using campaign or taxpayer funds, in response to admissions from law enforcement that they have no way of responding to every threat.
"Alarmed by a growing number of threats, harassment and scenes of violence at government buildings, lawmakers in both parties are seeking clarity from election agencies on whether they can spend campaign dollars and taxpayer money on security and personal protective equipment — everything from body armor to panic buttons at home," reported Daniel Payne.
"In Michigan, where law enforcement foiled a plot to kidnap the governor last year and heavily armed protesters sought to storm the floor of the House chamber, [Democratic state Sen. Kevin] Hertel wanted to know if lawmakers could use campaign money on a home security system and ballistic vests to protect against an active shooter," said the report. "The same is true in Washington, where the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee asked the Federal Election Commission in January for an advisory opinion on whether campaign funds could be used to hire bodyguards."
"The U.S. Capitol Police released a statement on March 8 saying security infrastructure and manpower upgrades will be needed to provide adequate protection for members of Congress," continued the report. "Law enforcement agencies do not have enough resources to handle these threats, which often follow members back to their districts, [Democratic Rep. Josh] Gottheimer said."
The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in January that left five dead is only one of several recent threats to lawmakers. On Wednesday, one of the accused Capitol rioters was arrested outside Vice President Kamala Harris' residence with a car full of weapons, after telling his family he was going to "take care of his problem."