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Pelosi announces fines up to $10,000 for lawmakers bypassing new Capitol metal detectors

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at a Trump Tax Town Hall hosted by Tax March at Events on Jackson in Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 20, 2018. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
January 14, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be fined if they refuse to pass through new metal detectors before entering the House chamber.

Bypassing security will cost members of the House $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second and will be deducted from their salaries. The new rules will be adopted when the House returns on January 21.

According to Pelosi, the fines were created after House Republicans refused to adhere to the new safety regulations.

“…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,” Pelosi said in a statement. “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.”

“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” Pelosi continued.

Representative Thomas Massie criticized the proposed fines, tweeting, “How does this not violate the 27th amendment which states: ‘No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.’?”

Several GOP lawmakers bypassed the new security measures after they were installed this week, including freshman member Lauren Boebert, who engaged in a standoff with Capitol police when she refused to let them search her bag after setting off the alarm.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” the ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights tweeted following the incident. “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.”

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko echoed her colleagues’ criticisms, 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 Pelosi’s communist America!”

Doubling down on this earlier comments, Massie again tweeted his disapproval of the new metal detectors.

The congressman tweeted, “So let me get this straight: All 435 representatives can be trusted with access to our nation’s Top Secret information, but as of this week, none of them can be trusted not to attack other members with metallic weapons on the floor of the House?”

Florida Representative Greg Steube criticized the metal detectors while speaking on the House floor, calling them “appalling” and an “atrocity.”

“Take note, America,” Steube said. “This is what you have to look forward to in the Joe Biden administration.”