WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers are proposing an increase in funding for the Capitol Police after a gunman opened fire earlier this month on Republican members of Congress practicing for a charity baseball game.
Several members of Congress have spoken about death threats since the June 14 attack in which Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, was wounded along with a Capitol Police officer in his security detail, a Republican aide and a lobbyist.
Funding for the Capitol Police, whose more than 2,100 officer are responsible for protecting Congress, is set at $422.5 million for the 2018 fiscal year, an increase of $29.2 million from 2017 in a bill unveiled by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
The increased funding includes $7.5 million for increased training, equipment and technology-related support, the appropriations panel said in a statement.
Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, told Fox News on Thursday he has received dozens of death threats and that security needed to be stepped up.
“I’ve got stacks, mounds of written threats that people put their names to and send us emails. And, again, they don’t get prosecuted. There’s got to be a way to better protect members of Congress,” Chaffetz said.
On Wednesday, Republican Representative Jody Hice of Georgia, warning that members of Congress have a “bull’s eye on our backs,” said he had introduced a bill to make it legal for senators and representatives to carry guns anywhere in the country, except the U.S. Capitol building.
The gunman in last week’s attack in Alexandria, Virginia, was killed in a gun battle with police.
Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe