Campaign funds OK’d for home security
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers can use campaign funds to boost security at their homes, a federal panel decided as House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remains in fair condition at a Washington hospital after a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice nearly a month ago.
The Federal Election Commission voted 5-0 on Thursday to let lawmakers use up to $15,000 in campaign funds for “nonstructural” security systems. The commission cited rising threats of violence against members of Congress.
The commission based its decision on a request from House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, the chief law enforcement official for the chamber. Irving said threats against members of Congress have soared. The U.S. Capitol Police, which investigated 902 such threats last year, has investigated about 950 so far this year.
Scalise, R-La., and four other people were injured June 14 when a gunman opened fire on a practice in nearby Alexandria, Va. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman.
The commission said if the threat environment diminishes significantly, then Thursday’s conclusion may change. Federal law generally prohibits federal lawmakers and candidates from converting campaign funds to personal use.