Two Republican members of Congress have been hit with $5,000 fines for circumventing the metal detectors leading into the House chambers under new rules passed this week in the Democrat-controlled body.
But GOP members say Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was seen skirting security, too, and deserves the same fine.
What are the details?
CNN reported Friday that “GOP Reps. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and Louie Gohmert of Texas have both been fined $5,000 for how they went through the metal detectors” according to a senior Democratic aid, noting that “These fines are part of a new rule established this week.”
Gohmert confirmed to news to Axios, telling the outlet, “”We’ll be appealing because this is ridiculous. This isn’t ‘The Godfather’ where you plant a gun in the toilet tank. There is no toilet tank in the bathroom.”
Shortly after the news broke, the Republican office of the Committee on House Administration sent a letter to the House sergeant at arms, to inform him that on Thursday, “at approximately 9:59 am, multiple members observed the Speaker of the House entering the House Chamber without completing security screening.”
The GOP committee’s Twitter account sent out a message saying, “Speaker Pelosi broke her own rules this week by entering the House Chamber without going through security. We are demanding she face the same fines as every other member of Congress.”
What’s the background?
In the days following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol when Congress was set to count the Electoral College votes for the presidential election, new security checkpoints including metal detectors were installed outside the doors entering the House chamber.
Some Republican members expressed fury over the additional measures, and a number of them refused to comply, including Gohmert.
Fellow GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted at the time, “”I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex. Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”
Pelosi reacted to the resistance by proposing a $5,000 fine on members the first time they dodge the metal detectors, and a $10,000 fine for the second offense — with the penalty being deducted directly from members’ paychecks. The measure passed earlier this week.
Forbes noted that Pelosi declared at a press conference last month that “the enemy is within the House of Representatives,” citing members who “want to bring guns on the floor” and “have threatened violence on other members.”