The Capitol Police are taking steps to beef up security around lawmakers during travel as members request more protection in the wake of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Capitol Police will be stationed at Washington-area airports and around the Union Station railway on busier days, the House’s acting sergeant at arms, Timothy Blodgett, told the Associated Press in an email late Thursday.
Blodgett outlined in the email plans for an online portal that will allow lawmakers to report “anything unusual or suspicious” and also alert security of their travel plans.
The news of the bolstered security measures, comes after a bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote a letter to House leadership on Thursday calling for enhanced security at their district offices and homes.
The stepped up security measures come after some Republican lawmakers broke with their party to impeach President Trump earlier this month. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) was just one of a group of House lawmakers who have reported receiving death threats over his vote. Meijer told MSNBC during an interview earlier this month that he and some of his colleagues have even been looking into buying body armor in the wake of the riot.
According to AP, Blodgett said that lawmakers were previously advised that their office expense accounts can be used to cover the costs of additional security to protect their offices, district events and to protect themselves while performing official duties.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Thursday that more money would be needed to provide security to members “when the enemy is within the House of Representatives.”
She criticized members who have insisted on bringing guns to the Capitol and “have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”
Newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) came under fire earlier this week for a report that indicated she had endorsed social media posts that suggested some Democrats should be executed.
Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the Capitol Police, said in a statement issued Thursday that some of the reinforced security measures at the Capitol would likely be permanent.
“I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol,” Pittman said.