Security for represantatives 'embarassingly inadequate'

Witnesses to Wednesday's shooting at a ball park in suburban Virginia say it would've been a massacre if the security detail surrounding Steve Scalise was not there.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Witnesses to Wednesday's shooting at a ball park in suburban Virginia say it would've been a massacre if the security detail surrounding Steve Scalise was not there.

Capitol police officers shot the suspect, who later died at the hospital.

Scalise's position as majority whip in the House affords him that security team, but the other GOP members at the field that day did not have protection.

"I will tell you that the security for members of Congress is just embarrassingly inadequate," said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La). "We do a lot of things in the sense of saving money."

Richmond said the shooting highlights a possible weakness in congressional security.

"When you look at shaping the direction of the country, the ability to take this country to war, and all the responsibilities that go with being a congress person in this climate, I think that we should know that the position itself is of such importance you need protection," Richmond said.

On this issue there may be bi-partisan support.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican, said the shooting should be a lesson in prevention.

"I'm sure that henceforth when there's a ball practice there's going to be Capitol police there. And if there's five or six members of Congress or senators kind of meeting publicly there'll be Capitol police," Cassidy said.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who delivered a speech in Washington, D.C., today said the level of protection for Congress seems out of balance.

"The City Council of New Orleans has security, I have security. The extent and the depth of that changes depending on what the threat is," Landrieu said. "I've always thought it was kind of interesting that even though mayors have it, U.S. senators didn't and congressional members don't."

Richmond said he hopes there will be a growing consensus for more security.

If nothing is done, he said, he'll propose legislation to start the process.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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