The unfortunate incident that led to the death of the House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise has taken a different turn, this time both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have started receiving death threats.
California lawmaker Nanette Diaz Barragán, who was speaking during a security briefing, said Democratic representatives have been receiving threatening calls on their personal mobile phones, with the caller saying, “You guys are next,” and “You Democrats, you Democrats,” Buzzfeed reported.
Scalise was admitted to the hospital with fatal injuries during a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday. A Republican representative from New York by the name of Claudia Tenney received an email with the subject line, “One down, 216 to go.”
The email continued to point out that: "Did you NOT expect this? When you take away lives of the ordinary people in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were
lost long before. Good riddance.”
The gunman who shot Scalise and wounded three other lawmakers has not been ruled as a part of any organized gang by the FBI. Tim Slater, a special agent of the FBI, said it is still early to state anything affirmatively when asked whether the gunman made an attempt to assassinate Scalise.'
Several lawmakers from both ends of the political aisles came forward and voiced their concerns. Republicans and Democrats, including Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Cedric Richmond had raised the topic in front of the House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a week prior to the Scalise’s shooting.
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that in the recent years her security concerns have grown considerably.
The congressional office budgets are often too low to afford secure spaces for holding official meetings, it was also unreasonable to assign a security detail to every member of Congress.
Scalise's shooting will act as an eye-opener for the need to have increased security outside offices. Paul Irving, who is Sergeant at Arms of the House, already begun pushing for a boost of about $2 million in the congressional budget for increased security of the Congress members when meetings are held away from the Capitol in their district offices or elsewhere.