Security spending by members of Congress skyrocketed in the three months following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, jumping 176 percent and 233 percent from the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively, an analysis of campaign finance records by Mother Jones reveals.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R) paid a reported $58,000 in protective measures in the first quarter of 2021 despite having "never spent campaign funds on security" before. Cheney was previously ousted from her House leadership position after publicly denouncing former President Donald Trump's claims of widespread election fraud and his role in sparking the insurrection.
But even the GOP's most loyal Trump supporters found themselves digging deep for back-up — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spent more than any other right-wing lawmaker when he shelled out $74,000 on a security firm in early 2021.
Among Democrat campaigns, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), who previously said that she didn't know if she "was going to make it to the end of [Jan. 6] alive," allocated $47,000 for security just between the months of January and April — which is "more than she spent during the entirety of last year," writes Mother Jones.
All in all, congressional campaigns and political parties spent approximately $2.6 million on security from January to March of 2021 — blowing past the $902,000 total during the same timeframe in 2019, and dwarfing the $2 million spent over the entirety of 2017. Such spending has "revived" the debate "over to what extent" political candidates can dip into their campaigns "to fund security expenses," Mother Jones writes, although "it's clear that members of Congress require more protection," notes retired Secret Service agent Nick Steen.