a pretty penny
Lawmakers who have criticized former President Donald Trump have reportedly had to spend a significant amount of cash on security following the deadly Capitol riot.
A report from Punchbowl News on Friday described how members of Congress "are spending tens of thousands of their campaign dollars on security to protect themselves and their families" in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, during which supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Biden's election win.
This phenomenon has reportedly been "most acute" among Republicans who voted to impeach and convict Trump earlier this year. For example, first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports showed that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) spent $43,633 on security, while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) spent almost $70,000 and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) spent $50,400, according to Punchbowl. These lawmakers all drew Trump's ire after they voted to impeach him on charges of inciting the Capitol riot, and Romney was also the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial.
Some prominent Democrats are also spending similar sums on their private security, according to the report, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) security costs reportedly totaling $45,000 in the first quarter. In the wake of the Jan. 6. attack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in February unveiled new security measures for lawmakers traveling to and from the nation's capitol, Axios notes, and according to Punchbowl, she's also preparing a spending bill that would add more officers to the Capitol Police and provide certain lawmakers with security in their districts.
"Several lawmakers privately told us that they got a flood of death threats after opposing Trump," Punchbowl also writes, adding that "threat levels against lawmakers have soared."