Legislators are revisiting ways to better coordinate with the U.S. Capitol Police to provide extra security for lawmakers in light of an uptick in threats of political violence. Lawmakers have been divided over financing more robust security measures, but the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) husband has reignited the conversation.
In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, USCP leadership faced intense scrutiny for its response, but lawmakers remained split on whether providing extra funding to the law enforcement agency would solve the problem.
Retired Army Lt. Gen Russel Honoré faced pushback when he presented his report on potential security enhancements his task force recommended. His report, which he compiled in March 2021 at the behest of Pelosi, included a recommendation for hiring 854 new USCP officers. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was skeptical about the necessity of hiring more personnel and eventually voted against the plan.
"At the time when I debriefed him, his opinion was they just need better management, they don't need more officers," Honoré told CNN. His experience highlights the debate within Congress on how best to keep violence against politicians at bay.
The break-in at Pelosi's home reignited fears about the increasingly volatile state of U.S. politics. Sources said that concerned members of Congress are waiting to see the outcome of the midterm elections, as control of the House could impact end-of-year funding, per CNN.
Preliminary discussions about how to protect members and their households are reportedly already underway, despite Congress not returning to session until after the midterms.