More than 50 senators have accepted satellite phones for emergency communications as part of growing efforts to bolster security for lawmakers following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The phones were offered to all senators and at least half of the chamber accepted, according to CBS News, which cited people familiar with the program.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Karen Gibson told owners last month that the phones would allow senators to maintain communications in case a man-made or natural disaster knocks out standard communications in their part of the country.
The report says the phone program is part of a larger effort to help lawmakers secure their homes and coordinate with local police departments after a series of concerning events.
Besides the Capitol riot, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was attacked in his San Francisco home in 2022.
A voter injured two of Rep. Gerry Connelly’s aides in a May 15 attack on the congressman’s office in Fairfax, Virginia.
In another branch of government, there were concerns over pro-choice protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices after a leaked draft opinion quashing Roe v. Wade. A man has been arrested and charged with conspiring to kill Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.