House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to fellow lawmakers in Congress as “the enemy” on Thursday and said that, because of those lawmakers, she may approve increasing security spending for House members.
Pelosi delivered the remarks during her weekly press conference on Thursday. Over thirty members of Congress, largely Democrats, sent a letter to Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) asking the leaders whether members may use their congressional allowances to fund additional security for themselves in their home districts.
Pelosi said that much of what the lawmakers asked about in the letter has already been addressed. She added that House members may get additional funding for security, however.
“I do believe, and I have said this all along, we will probably need a supplemental [budget] for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives – a threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi said.
She then put much of the blame for the need for additional funding on former President Donald Trump and other members of Congress, saying, “It shouldn’t be that not only is the president of the United States inciting an insurrection, but keeps fanning the flame endangering the security of members of Congress to the point that they’re even concerned about members in the House of Representatives being a danger to them.”
When asked what she meant specifically when she said “the enemy is within,” Pelosi said that fellow representatives in the House were endangering members by wanting to carry firearms on the House floor and threatening violence on other members. She did not name any specific House representative.
“It means that we have members of Congress that want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress,” Pelosi said.
Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made similar comments, saying she does not “feel safe” around Republicans.
“I think we also had very real security concerns as well, as you mentioned earlier,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN, explaining why she did not attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration. “We still don’t yet feel safe around other Members of Congress.”
“One [House member] just tried to bring a gun on the floor of the House today,” she continued. “I believe it was Representative Andy Harris of Maryland. He tried to bring in a gun on to the House floor. For individuals who don’t know, guns are not allowed in the District of Columbia. And certainly the House floor is, there are separate House rules that prohibit the bringing in of firearms. Now, these are rules that date back to the Civil War. And these are individuals that are trying to sneak firearms either illegally or in direct violation of House rules. Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the House floor?”