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Will Congressional Security Increase After Pelosi Attack?

Security arrangements for members of Congress and their families are coming under increasing scrutiny after the attack at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in which her husband was severely wounded. Lawmakers say they worry about rising violence against politicians and the ways that heated rhetoric can motivate potential attackers, reports the Wall Street Journal. The attack that left Paul Pelosi, 82, injured at the couple’s home in San Francisco renewed worries from some members of Congress about whether the existing security arrangements outside the Capitol, which focus on congressional leadership, are sufficient to meet the threats. “All of us, in the wake of this attack on Paul Pelosi, need to say that we are going to stop demonizing folks,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) on “Fox News Sunday.”

The most senior legislative leaders, including Pelosi, typically have security details while they are in the Capitol or traveling. That protection generally doesn’t extend to most of the 535 members of Congress and the Senate, nor to thousands of their family members spread across the country. Pelosi didn’t have police protection at the couple’s home in San Francisco while Pelosi was in Washington. Details about the Pelosis’ private security arrangements and alarms aren’t known. The number of threats and “concerning statements” investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police has increased in recent years to 9,625 last year from 3,939 in 2017. After the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, the agency added staff to its Dignitary Protection Division and began opening regional field offices in California and Florida.


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