House sergeant-at-arms to cover security at lawmakers' homes
The House sergeant-at-arms' office will cover the cost of security equipment at lawmakers' homes starting next month, per a memo sent to House members and staff this week.
Driving the news: Beginning Aug. 15, the House sergeant-at-arms will cover certain security system equipment and installation costs at lawmakers' personal residents up to a combined total of $10,000.
- The sergeant-at-arms will pay for fixed-rate monitoring and maintenance costs of up to $150 per month for each lawmaker, per the memo.
- Members with multiple residences will determine how the $10,000 installation allotment and the $150 monthly monitoring and maintenance allowance will be utilized, the memo said.
- Equipment can include motion sensors, enhanced locks and cameras, exterior lighting and recorders, among other systems.
- Lawmakers will select a bona fide security company, which will be reviewed by the sergeant-at-arms, to install any of the equipment.
- ABC News first reported on the program.
The big picture: The program dovetails with major steps Congress and the Capitol Police have taken to boost the security of lawmakers, and the Capitol building, in the year and a half since the Jan. 6 riot.
- That effort includes a $1.9 billion emergency supplemental spending package passed last year to upgrade Capitol security features, fund post-riot repairs and reimburse law enforcement.
- The Capitol Police also announced plans last year to launch field offices in Florida and San Francisco to better monitor threats to members.
State of play: The memo comes after Rep. Lee Zeldin, the New York Republican gubernatorial candidate, was attacked by a man with a pointed weapon at a rally last week.
- The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that the suspect climbed on stage at the event with "a weapon in his hand, swung it towards Zeldin's neck, and told him, 'You're done.'"
Between the lines: Threats are also on the rise among state officials and election workers, the Jan. 6 panel has revealed, noting that threats have increased in the wake of former President Trump's public pressure campaign after the 2020 election.