- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
A number of lawmakers are now reassessing their district security protocols and brainstorming ways to keep their staff - especially in district offices - safer after the events that unfolded Monday in Rep. Gerry Connolly's office.
Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, said on Monday that two staffers were injured by a man wielding a bat who came into his district office in Fairfax. US Capitol Police said it was not clear Monday what the attacker's motives were.
"I talked to my district staff today and we just have to be extra cautious. I've had to take additional measures at my now two district offices. We have to also acknowledge there is a culture out there that is being fueled by some venomous language," Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan told CNN. "It really gives a permission structure for this kind of behavior so while we do need to take steps to be secure, we also need to call upon one another to calm down some of the demonization of people with different views because that does contribute."
Asked if they need more funding for the effort, he said "I do think we need more security. The question is what is reasonable. There is some money in the budget now in the MRA for some security measures, but it is like a lot of things, you can never have too much, but the question is what can we reasonably afford given the risk."
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, told CNN he was on his way to have a meeting with his staff about this issue.
"We do have the Capitol Police force here at the Capitol. They don't have guards (in the district), but we have taken security measures in the past on weird communications we've gotten, and we are going to make sure we are fortifying things as much as possible," Raskin said.
Raskin added he hoped the committee on administration will look at whether more funding is necessary to bolster security in district offices "specifically with regard to this question of district offices. I think the district office question deserves more scrutiny."
Premier announces changes to long-delayed projectread more