Pelosi imposes fines for GOP House members refusing metal detectors
Calling the step 'tragic,' Speaker Pelosi said 'the chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.'
There will be a cost — literally — for House Republicans railing against new security protocols put in place after last week’s deadly insurrection at the Capitol Building where they work.
Metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the House floor, and all members of Congress are expected to pass through them. However, as previously reported, at least 10 Republican members of Congress held up lines at the entrance to the floor, refusing to walk through the screening system.
On Wednesday, the day of the historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she will be imposing strict and hefty fines on members who refuse the security screenings.
A fine of $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense will be imposed. The fines will be deducted directly from lawmakers’ salaries.
In a statement in which she announced the fines, Pelosi said, “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.”
Reports note that several House Republicans berated Capitol Police officers on Tuesday and Wednesday after being asked to go through the metal detectors just a week after the attack that killed one officer and another took his own life in the aftermath.
House members have been told that while they can carry personal firearms on the grounds, they “are restricted to a Member’s Office.”
In a memo to lawmakers and staff, Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant at arms, wrote “to ensure compliance with Capitol Police Board regulations concerning firearms and incendiary devices, as well as to provide a safe and secure environment in which to conduct legislative business, effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required [to] undergo security screening when entering the House chamber.”
Previous House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving resigned after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
Pelosi was clearly thankful for the officers on the scene that fateful day.
“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,” the House speaker’s statement read.
“Sadly,” she added, “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.”