House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday that the House will be considering a new rule that would impose hefty fines on lawmakers who refuse to comply with the added security measures put in place yesterday, after several Republican members dodged new metal detectors placed outside the chamber.
What are the details?
A number of GOP members were reportedly “furious” on Tuesday when they approached the House chamber and discovered they would need to pass through metal detectors manned by U.S. Capitol police officers in order to gain entry.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), made headlines earlier this month about bringing her own firearm into work, was the first to make waves with her refusal to comply with officers searching her bag before entry.
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) reacted to the new security checkpoints by tweeting, “For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in [Nancy] Pelosi’s communist America!”
The Hill reported that “ultimately, roughly 10 lawmakers were seen bypassing the detectors and walking into the chamber, raising questions as to the devices’ efficacy, particularly given officers’ hesitancy to restrain House members.”
Following Wednesday’s session where the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, Pelosi revealed her plan to remedy GOP resistance to the metal detectors: a new rule to be considered by the Democrat-controlled chamber that would make noncompliance a costly protest.
The speaker said in a statement, “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.”
“Sadly, just days later, 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,” she continued. “The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections. The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members’ salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer.”
She concluded, “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.”