OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
10:41 AM – Tuesday, May 23, 2023
According to sources, 50 senators have reportedly been issued satellite phones by the Senate Sergeant at Arms for emergency communication. This comes as extra security measures are being implemented following the January 6 breach at the Capitol in 2021 and the attempted attack on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her home in 2022.
In the event of a “man-made” or “natural” calamity that paralyzes communication, satellite phones are a tool for reacting to and coordinating government services, according to a Department of Homeland Security recommendation.
Last month, Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee that satellite communication is being used “to ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event.”
The phones, according to Gibson, serve as a security precaution in the event that a crisis “takes out communications” in a portion of America. The satellite airtime necessary for using the phone devices will be covered by federal financing.
Gibson said that her team upgraded 52 offices’ current security in 2022 and delivered first physical security modifications for 31 locations during her appearance before a Senate subcommittee in April.
“Maintaining security systems in good working order is a priority, and to support this effort our team conducted over 622 service calls to maintain, repair, and or test and inspect state office physical security systems in 2022,” Gibson said.
In the same month, House Sergeant at Arms William McFarland had shared that “robust participation” has been reported in a program to help House members protect their homes. According to McFarland, House administration is working with local police agencies to better safeguard members’ residences and to protect Congressmen who attend events in their home states.
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