Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi warned lawmakers that from next week those who attempt to enter the House Chamber without going through newly installed metal detectors will be fined.
The California Democrat announced in a statement Wednesday the Democrat-controlled House will vote on the new rule Jan. 21 to fine lawmakers who bypass the metal detectors to enter the Chamber $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense.
“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” she said.
Metal detectors were installed at entrances to the House Chambers on Tuesday after supporters of President Donald Trump mobbed the building a week earlier, resulting in at least five deaths.
In her statement, Pelosi thanked Capitol Police for protecting them during the siege on the building before criticizing her Republican colleagues over confronting those same officers concerning the new metal detectors.
“Many 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 wrote. “The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections.”
The fines will be deducted from the offending lawmakers’ salaries, she said.
According to the U.S. Capitol Police website, firearms are prohibited in Washington, D.C., and on U.S. Capitols grounds even with a permit.
However, lawmakers have been exempt from this rule though Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett said in a memo announcing the installation of the metal detectors that lawmakers are to keep their weapons in their offices.
After the metal detectors were installed, several Republican lawmakers were reported to have argued with Capitol Police officers on Tuesday and Wednesday when they were instructed to enter the Chambers through the new devices.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who appeared in a campaign video carrying a gun on Capitol grounds, called the metal detectors “just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan responded to lawmakers frustrated with having to go through the metal detects, stating “suck it up buttercups.”
“Now they know how [high school] students in my district feel,” she said via Twitter.
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