the enemy is within

On January 28, 2021 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave a weekly briefing at the white house where she called some members of the House of Representatives “ the enemy within.” This is coming after a month of “memorable Wednesdays,” as Pelosi called them, referring to the riot on Capitol Hill, the second attempt to impeach Donald Trump, and the inauguration of the Biden administration. A reporter asked about a letter that was sent to her and the Majority leader asking for funds for more security at the Capitol and in the Representatives home districts. Pelosi responded by touching on the states using MRA funds for security then went on to call some members “the enemy within”.

Who is the Enemy Within?

Pelosi started out by explaining the Representatives should be using their MRA funds for extra security. Then she said “we want to have a scientific approach to how we protect members. I do believe, and I have said this all along, we will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives. A threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is outside.” When pressed by a reporter on exactly what she meant she went on to say “we have members of congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of congress.” While Pelosi did not directly name any members directly this comes days after metal detectors were installed in the capitol. This has sparked anger in many Republican lawmakers. A regulation from 1967 allows firearms to be carried by members of congress on Capitol grounds but not on the floor. Democrats are pushing this week to ban lawmakers from carrying firearms anywhere at the Capitol. 

Are they really the Enemy?

Republican lawmakers have expressed their concern for the added security. House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis was quoted by Fox News saying the security measures were “taking resources completely away from where it needs to be,” and that Democrats “did it without any consultation with the minority.” Barring lawmakers from bringing firearms to the capitol is something newly elected Republican Congress member Lauren Boebert has made it clear she will not stand for. “I will carry my firearm in D.C. and in congress.” she says in a campaign ad she posted to twitter. She goes on to say it’s lawmakers jobs to protect second amendment rights and that’s what she is in D.C. to do. Are Republican lawmakers “the enemy within” for wanting to defend themselves? Taking away the right to carry at the Capitol for lawmakers takes away their right to defend themselves in a city where violent crime averages more than twice the average rate. After the incident on January 6 it is understandable as to why lawmakers would want to go as far as to bring their firearms safely into the chamber. Republican lawmakers will continue to push for the right to bear arms at the Capitol in order to protect our second amendment rights as citizens. 

Written by: Erinn Malloy