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Security In D.C. Heightens Following Boston Bombings

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Capitol Police taping off the grounds in downtown Washington, D.C., following news of the Boston manhunt on Friday, April 19, 2013.
Jared Angle
Capitol Police taping off the grounds in downtown Washington, D.C., following news of the Boston manhunt on Friday, April 19, 2013.

It's springtime, which means the National Mall will soon be flooded with more people than usual — tourists and locals enjoying events and sightseeing in the city. But the bombings in Boston have some lawmakers concerned about safety.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says it's on his mind.

"I do worry about these kinds of random acts of violence could develop at activities where there's a lot of people, like a July 4 activity or Memorial Day, something like that," Moran says. "I have worried about that for some time... the kind of event we saw in Boston."

But Moran says he doesn't want to see the region become a police state. He says officials shouldn't start diverting precious resources out of fear.

"I do think targeted security makes sense in iconic buildings, obviously around the White House of course, and the Capitol building itself," says Moran. "But I think we need to exercise some judgment."

Last week there was a more visible police presence on Capitol Hill than usual, which Moran says should probably be wound back now that authorities have captured and killed the two Boston suspects.

He also says the incident should force lawmakers back to the negotiating table on sequestration, which is forcing budget cuts on the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

Lawmakers in the region say the bombing in Boston highlights the need to undo sequestration.

"I really think if you were to ask the American people: do you really want to furlough FBI employees? Do you really want to furlough Homeland Security? Do you really want to furlough Justice Department employees who will be prosecuting these folks or the prison employees who will be holding them?" Moran says. "The answer would be no, and the American public would be right."

Sequestration remains in place because the two parties can t agree on where tax rates should sit.

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