Rep. Jackson: Congressmen Need Better Security

Updated 1/11/11 – 3:14 p.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — The weekend shooting rampage in Tucson calls into question the security afforded to members of Congress — and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. wants to see more spending on security.

Jackson is proposing legislation that increase the budget of each congressman and senator for security by 10 percent.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

“The point is that it should be up to members to determine necessary precautions, and they should have the resources to do that,” he said.

Jackson said it may mean new cameras, locks or entry systems for some members of Congress. For others, it may mean a new office.

Jackson noted that U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush has indicated he will move his district office to a location he considers safer.

Asked if Saturday’s attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-Ariz.) spells the end of the corner congressional office or off- the-cuff meetings with constituents, Jackson said, “I hope not.”

“Direct access to our constituents is an important part of our job,” he said. “I think there has to be an assessment at the local level as to what constitutes a serious threat versus a
non-serious threat.”

Jackson also would like to restore the 5 percent cut last week from lawmakers’ staff budgets because of the hard times. He said that
constituents need more services, not less.

He said he has not yet broached the ideas with the Republican majority in the U.S. House, but expects the measure to get serious consideration. He said that since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government has secured “every federal facility except for congressional district offices.”

Jackson made the proposal one week after House lawmakers voted 408-13 vote to cut their yearly office allowances by 5 percent in an effort
to get the deficit under control.

Jackson was one of those who voted against the measure. His 2010 allowance, to cover Washington and district expenses, was $1.5 million.

  • southside

    Don’t flatter yourself, JJ. You are not that important. Plus, this wasn’t a conspiracy against a congress-person, it was a whack job nutball. Giving MORE money to congressional office holders is a joke. Let the feds secure your office building…perhaps you will actually be there sometime instead of out seeking TV cameras.

    • Average Guy

      Bravo! He does have his daddy’s ways.

  • john

    A government that fears it’s citizens is not a government; but a bully who holds power by force.

  • Dusty R

    Then you know what – you can pay for it JACKSON!! Take some of the money you receive for your campaign and hire you’re own freaking security. I DONT WANT TO PAY FOR IT…

  • KGM

    Agree with SOUTHSIDE: This guy was a nut. He could have aimed his gun at someone in any profession. Figures he’d set his sights on government; the only group that spends other people’s money, not their own. I needed better clothes when I changed jobs… paid for them myself. Get your own security and write it off as a work expense IF you file taxes every year.

  • northside

    When does he go on trial for the money he offered to Blago for the senate seat
    The feds can protect him when he goes to prison

  • Linda Walters

    We DO NOT need to spend monies on upgraded security for political leaders. if they feel they need to be protected from the citizens they serve they should do one of two things: Take the money from their campaign funds and /or take a look at how they treat their citizens , far too may are ABOVE the common man/woman on the street they don’t represent us or the views we have have.. They place themselves above us as though we are incapable of thinking on our own and need to be told like a child what is best for us. Another thing we don’t need in light of this tragedy is more /tought laws for shooting elected officials/federal employees. Before you get in an uproar, my husband is a federal employee and so are many of our friends. A life is a life and the laws apply to ALL of us, regardless of our profession. That type of thinking is what makes our political leaders think they are better then the ones whom they were ELECTED TO SERVE. If being a politician is to dangerous get a new job, and i wish you luck with that.

  • White Guy.

    Monitor you must be bias or a racist,because what I said was true

    • Good luck

      They censor alot of stuff. Typical PC BS. They don’t like when white “E” tells the truth!!!

      • Average Guy

        You guys are funny! How dare you push race again. They censored me. Ah!

  • Taxpayer

    Jackson get a life, your poltics are a joke ! You would rather pay to be put in the senate seat than go out and look for the vote anyways!

  • Donna

    If you feel unsafe in your position, resign and get a job like the rest of us.

  • Fed up

    Something I learned when I was a public employee. Any time I had a complaint the answer was if you don’t like it quit. I guess that should be the response to JJ. You people walk over each other, assassinate each others character, spend obscene amounts of other people’s money to get into office and then, like the federal judges, expect the suckers to protect you. If you don’t like the job-quit and get a real job where you have to work for your money.

  • Thnx Folks

    You have said it ALL!!!! Great minds think alike.

  • Centurion

    Hey, Jesse Jr needs that 10 Percent increase to increase the tips he can give watiresses

    • Average Guy

      Yep! He does take after his father.

  • Smooth

    I totally agree the public needs to be protected from the politicians (especially Chicago”s) Jackson, Vrdolyak, Berrrios, Al Sanchez, Blago, and the list just goes on……………

  • Centurion

    Jesse Jr carries a gun! Actually, half of his constituents carry guns. Most are illegal weapons in the hands of felons.

    • Average Guy

      Dope! get a grip on life.

  • Jackie

    If that is the case JJ, then little girls and innocent bystanders need more security too! Watch your own back.

    • Jackie


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  • ileeny

    We need jobs more than increasing security for politicians. You may hear gunshots anywhere.

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