House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently referred to Republican House members who want to carry firearms as protection as the “enemy within.”
In a press conference from Pelosi on Thursday, she stated that House members can pay for “additional security measures” with their congressional allowances, and said the House may need to pass additional funding for safety costs because “the enemy is within the House of Representatives.”
“We will probably need a supplemental [budget] for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives — a threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi said.
“It shouldn’t be that not only is the president of the United States inciting an insurrection, but keeps fanning the flame endangering the security of members of Congress, to the point that they’re even concerned about members in the House of Representatives being a danger to them,” Pelosi continued.
After being asked to clarify her statement, Pelosi stated, “It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”
A handful of Republicans have expressed interest in carrying inside the House chamber, where they are currently prohibited.
Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert is one of them, stating in an interview with Breitbart that she will always have a firearm on her.
“I will carry a firearm each day in D.C,” said Boebert
In a tweet, Boebert stated, “I’ve always heard to ‘speak softly and carry a big stick.’ I prefer to speak loudly and carry a Glock.”
“Washington, DC, like most Democrat-run cities, has a violent crime problem, so I certainly need a way to protect myself and I will be carrying each and every day,” continued Boebert.
After the Capitol Hill riots, many individuals in Congress expressed concern over security, sending a letter to Pelosi asking to use their congressional allowances to hire security in their home districts.
“Protecting Members in their District is much harder because local law enforcement agencies are stretched and limited, and often don’t have sufficient staffing or money to provide regular protection to Members,” the statement said. “Except for Leadership, Members do not have security details protecting them. The structure of the Capitol Police and the laws against threatening Members of Congress were first crafted in a much different time when the threat environment was significantly lower.”
“The increased level of threats has overwhelmed the Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section,” the letter continues. “Today, with the expansion of the web and social media sites, so much information about Members is accessible in the public sphere, making them easier targets, including home addresses, photos, personal details about Members’ families, and real-time information on Member attendance at events. Current legal statutes make it extremely difficult to prosecute most threats made against Members of Congress.”
Members of Congress receive an average $1.4 million per year for their congressional allowances. Current rules allow members to reimburse themselves for security equipment and funds for security at local events. The letter wants changes so they can reimburse themselves for security at their own homes.
Boebert has stated that she will not rely on standard security that is typical for members of Congress, such as being driven “in an armored vehicle” to the Capitol.
“I am my security,” Boebert said.
Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie stated that “several” representatives were happy to be armed inside the Capitol building during the riots.
The next member who argues Congressmen shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms at work needs to be laughed out of the Capitol,” Massie tweeted. “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.”
There has been an increase of rhetoric coming from the left designed at generating fear towards Republicans. Democrat New York Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez stated that she did not attend Biden’s inauguration because she “feels unsafe” around Republicans.