Key appropriator: Too early to talk about increase in funding for Capitol Police

A key Republican lawmaker on Monday said it is too early to say whether Capitol Police should get more funding in the wake of the Arizona shootings.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), the incoming head of the House Appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch, said lawmakers will have to look at whether to provide budget increases for security in light of the weekend shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

“We have to talk about what is reasonable. If Ronald Reagan can get shot, and you are talking about all the members, what kind of security would it take to make sure some lone wolf like this guy can’t do what he did?” he said.

Crenshaw indicated that it would be unfortunate if increased security prevented lawmakers from meeting with their constituents. 

“Gabby doing what we are supposed to be doing as members of Congress, meeting with members of the public and listening to their concerns,” Crenshaw said. “It would be a sad day in America if our representatives have to be walled off.”

Crenshaw said his committee would be holding an oversight hearing on security to find out if changes need to be made in light of the Arizona shooting, especially in relation to how Capitol Police and member staffs coordinate with local law enforcement.

Each Appropriations subcommittee has been tasked by GOP leaders to find places to make deep cuts to spending, and Crenshaw is looking for reductions beyond the 5 percent cut to office budgets that the House approved last week, he said.