Some members of Congress said they do not intend to ask for extra security at public events in their districts even after Saturday's shooting rampage in Arizona that killed six people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
Rep. Dean HellerDean HellerWith GOP’s healthcare bill on ice, Dems go on offense Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker This week: House GOP faces make-or-break moment on ObamaCare MORE (R-Nev.) told the Reno Gazette-Journal he's never felt threatened during his time in Congress and doesn't want any added security.
Freshman Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) said Sunday he won't take additional security precautions either, expressing concern that it would negatively affect his ability to communicate and interact with constituents.
"I'm not, personally," Lee told a New York TV station when asked if he'll accept additional security. "You're here to represent people and you have to be accessible. We hope this is just a random act of violence, and it is so sad because she is a wonderful person."
Rep. Reid RibbleReid RibbleWith Trump, conservatives hope for ally in 'War on Christmas' GOP rushes to embrace Trump House stays Republican as GOP limits losses MORE (R-Wis.) said the same in an interview with a local TV station in his home state.
"There are deranged people that live in this world and, if anything, this is a reminder for all of us to be alert, to be aware of our surroundings and to pay as much attention to what's going on around us as we can," said Ribble.
Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyRNC head: Dems acting ‘petty’ to Gorsuch Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee Grassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier MORE, the ranking Republican of the Senate Finance committee, and Rep. Steve King (R) also said they would decline additional security in response to the shooting.
King told The Des Moines Register he has received threats during his career, but not to the point he feels he needs additional protection.
“So if it means I always have to have a security detail, I’m probably going to be the guy that figures out how to escape my security detail and deal with real people,” King said.
Grassley stressed the importance of being able to talk directly to the public.
“I don’t know how I can change my procedure at all from the standpoint of just going on and doing what we’ve been doing,” Grassley said.
Still, some other members were quick to call for additional security measures.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who was the subject of death threats last year, said he intends to "insist on more security ... [so] we can make sure this doesn't happen again."
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said he intends to ask local authorities to provide additional security at town hall meetings planned for his district. He told a Colorado TV station his office will ask for added security "wherever I'm having the town hall meeting" in order to "reassure the public that we do have security."
Also on Sunday, a top House Democrat said Congress might need to "beef up the funding" for the offices of individual members — money they could use to arrange added security for events in their home districts.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) made the comments on Fox News Sunday, where he also called for special treatment for members by the Transportation Security Administration at the nation's airports.
—Bob Cusack, Sean J. Miller and Daniel Strauss contributed.