Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) on Tuesday suggested that the Obama administration should consider building a higher fence around the White House in order to deter fence-jumpers and other intruders from entering the grounds.
"I want to know whether you have considered before today simply asking that a higher fence be built, one that, for example, could curve," Norton asked Secret Service Director Julia Pierson.
A member of the US Park Police keeps watch infront of the White House on September 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. The US Secret Service is reviewing new security measures inside and outside the White House fence after a man made it all the way inside the presidential mansion on Friday before being tackled. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN
She also suggested installing a multi-layered glass barrier behind the White House fence, one that could resist gun or bomb blasts. She asked if these and other "common-sense devices" have been considered in order to protect the president and his family.
Pierson didn't reply directly to these questions, but said the Secret Service wants to work with Congress to ensure adequate protection for the president that still ensures the public still has access to the White House.
Norton was one of several Democrats who were furious over the Secret Service's failure to stop a White House intruder earlier this month, and failure to fully investigate a shooter who fired bullets into the White House in 2011.
But while Norton indicated support for a higher fence, many Democrats have opposed efforts to build up the fence at the southern U.S. border to deter illegal immigrants. In the last several weeks, some Republicans have called for a double fence and other measures along the border, to fend off a wave of illegal immigrants that members of both parties said escalated into a humanitarian crisis this year.
In contrast, Democrats have argued that the U.S. should react by increasing funding to hold and adjudicate these immigrants, and have said the U.S. needs to be more welcoming of these immigrants, many of which, they say, are escaping economic hardship in Central America.