A report confirms that United States Senators have been issued emergency satellite phones.
CBS News reported these devices are part of a series of new security measures being offered to senators by Karen Gibson, Senate Sergeant at Arms.
The official line of reasoning behind offering the satellite phones was “to ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event.”
CBS News also notes that the satellite phones were offered partially in response to the January 6, 2021 protests at the U.S. Capitol.
Sources confirmed to CBS News all 100 senators were offered the phones last month and more than 50 ( over four dozen) accepted Gibson’s offer. The senators who agreed to take the devices were urged to keep them close by during travel.
The report from CBS News does not say which lawmakers have possession of the phones. The phones are being fully paid with taxpayer dollars.
The Department of Homeland Security claims the phones are a security backstop in the case of an emergency that “takes out communications” in part of America.
A Department of Homeland Security advisory said satellite phones are a tool for responding to and coordinating government services in the case of a ‘man-made’ or natural disaster that wipes out communication.
Many conservatives including DC_Draino are expressing alarm that a cyber attack prior to the 2024 election would be used to justify changes in voting procedures that will benefit Joe Biden. He argues that senators are being issued the phones to prepare for this exact event.
Many are worried a cyber attack prior to the 2024 election would be used to justify changes in voting procedures that will benefit Joe Biden
Today we learned that US Senators are being issued special satellite phones for this exact scenario
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) May 22, 2023
Gibson started serving in her role beginning in March 2021. Here is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) announcement:
I’m excited to announce the leadership team at the Senate Sergeant at Arms:
Lieutenant General Karen Gibson
This is the first time in history the office will be led by a team of women, and we know they’ll be successful.https://t.co/djPut773WK
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 3, 2021