House

House members allowed to use taxpayer funds for bulletproof vests, security personnel

A House committee voted Tuesday to pass a resolution that would allow members to pay for bulletproof vests and security personnel using taxpayer funds.

The House Administration Committee passed the measure by voice vote, amending the Members' Congressional Handbook to define bulletproof vests for members as a "reimbursable" expense.

The amendment allows members to use taxpayer dollars to hire security personnel for events like town halls, to accompany them "during the performance of their official duties" or to be stationed at their district offices.

The resolution defines "security enhancements" like bulletproof glass for district offices as not reimbursable, but says that the costs can be incorporated into the monthly rent of the office.

The new resolution comes amid a national conversation on safety and security in public spaces, namely schools, after a shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

It also comes just weeks after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) returned to the Capitol following recovery and multiple surgeries after being shot at a congressional baseball practice last summer.

Last year, the House passed a measure granting lawmakers an extra $25,000 to pay for security needs at their offices or public events after the shooting.

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