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Giffords Seeks FEC Permission for Security Upgrades

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is looking to improve the security of the family home where she is rehabilitating from January’s shooting. The Arizona Democrat’s political organization sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission Thursday asking for the go-ahead to spend $2,200 in campaign funds to upgrade exterior lighting and locks, and install a duress alarm button in her home.

“At the request of the House Sergeant-[at]-Arms, the United States Capitol Police … conducted a security assessment of the family home and her general threat risk using USCP standards and best industry practices,” wrote Giffords for Congress Chairman Michael McNulty. “After that assessment, the USCP made several recommendations to increase the security of the home that are specific to the identified needs of Rep. Giffords’ security.”

House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood had recommended that security assessments be carried out at all Members’ district offices, and some lawmakers have had assessments of their homes as well.

The House Administration Committee previously approved the use of official funds to upgrade office security, while the FEC has in some instances approved the use of campaign funds to improve the security of personal homes.

McNulty said in the letter that the improvements are not intended to raise the value of the house, but rather for security purposes. He stated that he is asking for an expedited advisory opinion on the matter.

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