Pelosi steps up security for members of Congress

By Billy House and John Harney
Bloomberg News/TNS

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says security is being stepped up for representatives traveling to and from Washington in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol last month.

In a letter to colleagues on Tuesday evening, she said that the House sergeant at arms and the U.S. Capitol Police were “partnering with the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Air Marshal Service and Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority” to protect members of Congress during their travels.

She added that Capitol Police officers would be stationed at three Washington-area airports and Union Station.

“Given the serious and ongoing security threats facing Members and the Congress, it is clear that there is a need for an emergency supplemental funding bill to meet institutional security needs,” Pelosi said in the letter.

She pointed out that the body Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of injuries sustained when supporters of Donald Trump broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, would be lying in honor in the building’s Rotunda on Wednesday.

She wrote that it was “clear that we will need to establish a 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack.”

“The security of the U.S. Capitol Complex and all who serve and work in it is of the highest priority.” The speaker and her top lieutenants have scheduled a 9 a.m. conference call Wednesday with rank and file House Democrats that will include more discussion on the security responses to the attack.

Republicans on the House Administration Committee have already introduced legislation to establish a commission to investigate what they called a “domestic terrorist attack.” The panel would consist of five Republicans and five Democrats.

The speaker also encouraged representatives to “to tape their recollections through a video, especially those who were in the Chamber.”

“It may be difficult for members to share their stories, but it is important to facilitate an accurate personal record and for the healing process for our Congress and indeed, country,” she said.

In an Instagram Live session on Monday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York congresswoman, detailed the moment she feared for her life during the attack, disclosing that she’s a survivor of a past sexual assault, to drive home her accusation that some Republicans have been dismissive of her trauma.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Washington, D.C.