House Speaker says representatives who try to bypass metal detectors in Congress face a fine of up to $10,000.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced new fines of up to $10,000 targeting some Republican members of Congress whom she said are ignoring new security protocols by walking around new metal detectors on Capitol Hill, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
Republican lawmakers were upset after new metal detectors were installed following the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump that ended with five people dead including one supporter who was shot and killed inside the building by Capitol security.
Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas called the detectors “unnecessary” and “unconstitutional,” saying that he “will not comply in the future.”
“She’s trying to say Republican members of Congress can’t be trusted. It’s a nasty, partisan message and would violate the Constitution if they actually tried to stop us,” Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky told the Examiner.
Some lawmakers, including Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, were seen walking around the metal detectors, the report said.
“Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution contains specific language prohibiting Members of Congress from being impeded on the way to a session of the House or to a vote. This is harassment. We need protection from the Speaker, not each other,” said Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas, after reportedly telling Capitol police he could not be stopped from walking around the scanners and then did so.
Recently sworn-in Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who ran on a pro-Second Amendment platform, tussled with police who wanted to see what was in her bag. She was eventually allowed into the chamber.
“It is a shame that Nancy Pelosi is trying to disarm Members of Congress in the very place that needed more protection on January 6,” Boebert said in a statement. “It is clear metal detectors would not have deterred the violent acts we saw; this political stunt does nothing to improve the safety of Members in the Capitol complex.”
Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday night, “On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress.”
“Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe. The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections,” Pelosi said.
The fine for a first offense by a member of Congress will be $5,000 and for repeat offenders the fine will jump to $10,000, the report said.
“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” Pelosi said.