WASHINGTON — Members of Congress can use campaign funds to buy security systems for their homes, federal regulators ruled Thursday — nearly a month after a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice.
The Federal Election Commission voted 5-0 to allow lawmakers to use donors' money to install the security systems. Federal rules generally bar the use of a lawmaker's main campaign account for personal expenses, but proponents said the security costs are directly related to a politician's official duties.
The FEC ruling allows lawmakers to spend up to $15,000 for installing and updating security systems.
Threats against federal lawmakers have soared.
In the first six months of the year, Capitol Police investigated 950 threats against House members, House Sergeant At Arms Paul Irving, according to a letter he sent to the election panel last month. That surpasses the 902 threats the agency investigated during all of 2016, he said.
"Members receive threatening communications on a daily basis," Irving wrote.
The June 14 shooting at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., injured five, including Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who remains hospitalized.