FBI agent turned lawmaker offers low-cost security training for members

Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) says he doesn't see a need to spend additional money on security for members of Congress in the wake of Saturday's shooting in Arizona. 

Instead, the former FBI agent, who worked undercover to help bring down mobsters and tackle corruption on Wall Street, is offering his own services to House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio) and his fellow members. 

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Grimm penned a letter to BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE on Wednesday suggesting simple, low-cost security awareness training for members and staff, and offered up his own expertise to help implement it. 

"Just like we have ethics training, we can have consistent security training," Grimm told The Hill. "It's really about simple things — knowing where the exit is at any event, knowing where security is located, looking for stuff that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary."

The Republican said that given the number of events held by members of the House, who are typically in constant campaign mode, it's easy to get "caught up in the moment of campaigning or meeting constituents, and unless you're constantly reminded of security, it's not something you necessarily think about."     

Grimm's suggestion comes as Congress continues to grapple with what added security measures may be needed to protect members at events in their home districts. It's a debate that will likely be governed by one thorny question — how much will it cost?

It's a tough issue for the Republican majority in the House, particularly the new crop of GOP freshman lawmakers, who are eager to show their commitment to slashing spending just about anywhere they can. 

"If we have resources that are already being paid for right here, like the Capitol Police and the FBI, then that's what we should use first before we start talking about things like security details, which I would be against," said Grimm. 

Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) are among a handful of Democratic lawmakers who want the 5 percent cut to office budgets, mandated by the new House Republican majority, rescinded. 

But Grimm said any legislation or rulemaking in response to this past weekend's shooting in Arizona regarding security for members of Congress "needs to be respectful to this incredible deficit we have, and the national debt."