In the wake of the January 6th Insurrection, Rep. Al Green (D-Houston) is sponsoring a bipartisan resolution to beef up congressional security. The resolution, which was cosponsored with Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona), increases funding to ensure the safety of members of congress, their staff, and the public.
Green, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, also called for additional measures to ensure prevent disturbances on airplanes. “I understand that at 35,000 feet and 500 miles per hour, you do not want a disturbance,” Green said on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton. “It’s worse than shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater because there are no safe exits.” Green proposed letting passengers know that there are severe penalties for creating a disturbance prior to takeoff, when the crew announces safety protocols.
Green’s concerns about air travel are warranted given how frequently members of Congress must fly in and out of DC. Recently, there was an incident where Sen. Mitt Romney was harassed by Trump supporters on a flight.
This is not the first time Green has called for tighter security for members of Congress, having done so in 2019 after Trump escalated his verbal attacks on “The Squad.” However, the attack on the Capitol and the subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump has given congressional security a new sense of urgency. At particular risk are the House Republicans that voted to impeach Trump, who are procuring body armor, altering routines and travelling with armed bodyguards.
Some members of Congress are even concerned about threats to their safety from their colleagues. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) is moving her office away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) due to safety concerns. Greene has promoted conspiracy theories and called for the execution of Democratic leaders on social media.
To deal with the threat within, Al Green has proposed using Article 1 Section 5 Clause 2 of the Constitution to hold members of Congress accountable. The clause allows each chamber of Congress to punish its own members.
For their part, the Capitol Police are already taking additional security measures to protect members of Congress even when they’re not on Capitol grounds. Capitol Police officers are being stationed at transportation hubs in the DC area and a new online portal allows members to notify the Capitol Police of their travel itineraries.
It may be a sad commentary on the state of the country, but the additional security for Congress reflects real risks that exist now. After four years of Trump’s base being radicalized with lies and conspiracy theories, the United States must contend with a serious threat from within.
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