A notable increase in outdoor Capitol Police presence was on the Hill
on Thursday, with as many as three times the number of normal officers
posted along the streets in front of the House office buildings.
A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police said that the heightened security was to prepare for any spillover from the Tea Party rally scheduled that evening on the National Mall.
The ramped up police presence comes after several black members of Congress complained Tea Partiers shouted racial slurs on the day of the healthcare vote last month, with one saying a protester spit on him.
Many Tea Partiers and conservative activists have pushed back against the reports, saying they were false or overblown.
Threats were also made to lawmakers both in their home districts and in Washington following the healthcare vote.
There were also reports Thursday that opponents of the movement would try to crash the protest Thursday.
Meanwhile, Justice Clarence Thomas told a House appropriations subcommittee Thursday that the Supreme Court wants more funding for security because of the high volume of threats he says it receives.
The court building is across the street from the Capitol.