House Republicans returned to Washington D.C. Monday and Republicans on the committee that oversees national security are already expressing concern about security on Capitol Hill after a recent spike in violent assaults.
“We cannot send the wrong message to the American people and to the rest of the world that we cannot secure our buildings,” Jim Jordan (R-OH) said. “The president has the constitutional responsibility to provide security for our buildings. This is something I would support him doing, but unless he provides it, the leadership of the United States Congress will do that.
Jordan said he felt the House Leadership promised to give input to lawmakers on their security and that he trusts their judgment, but their recommended fixes have fallen short in recent years.
Three Republicans say a lack of safety is causing them to call for better security measures at the Capitol.
Murdoch Grant, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said the committee has “seen over the last year over 25 threats to members and staffers.” Grant said that in the past 12 months over 25 threats to members and staff have occurred.
Grant said the recent threats have only “increased the concern about this issue.” He said there has not been an effective way to detect who is making those threats and why.
Committee members said that members have safety worries after a recent 16-member panel attended a security briefing at the Intelligence Committee. Of the 16 panel members, seven were present at the briefing, but none of the Democrats.
Grant said he was “not necessarily upset that they were not all present at the briefing” but said that “all parties should come to this.
“In the coming months, I’d encourage Democrats and Republicans to join together in these meetings. This is an area that we want the American people to have more confidence in,” Grant said.
Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) said he’s been campaigning in his district and members have told him a certain area needs more security.
“They’re not issuing for a specific area, they’re saying a certain area needs to be improved,” Wenstrup said.