House approves new fines for members who fail to pass security before entering upstairs


With the adoption of this rule on Tuesday night, members who fail to comply with security checks will be fined $ 5,000 for the first violation and $ 10,000 for a second violation. These fines would be deducted directly from members’ salaries by the head of administration.

When metal detectors were installed outside the House floor on January 12 for all members and staff to pass through, many lawmakers expressed their frustrations. Republican Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who filmed a campaign commercial swearing to carry her handgun around Capitol Hill before arriving in Washington, was also involved in a standoff with Capitol Police while trying to get in. ashore when metal detectors have been newly installed. . Republican Representative Andy Harris of Maryland attempted to take a gun concealed on the floor of the House.

On Tuesday evening, lawmakers appeared to comply with the new security measures and went through metal detectors before entering the House floor. The vote was 216-210 in favor of the new rule.

Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts who is chairman of the settlement committee, told the House on Tuesday why it was important for members to respect metal detectors.

“These metal detectors are manned by the same police officers who saved our lives during the insurgency while risking theirs,” McGovern said. “Some members on the other side disrespected those Capitol Hill cops, verbally insulted them, pushed them aside and disobeyed their orders – all to avoid this basic security measure. no way to treat our heroes. “

Republican Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Rules Commission, opposed the new measure in the House on Tuesday.

“Requiring members to go through a metal detector every time they enter the chamber of the Chamber, even if they have not left the area, is a sure recipe for chaos”, a- he declared. “It is impossible for members to socially distance themselves when they are stacked in a queue to wait their turn to pass through metal detectors,” Cole said, adding that “this is a clear recipe for disorganization and deadlock “.

The fine also attempts to address the growing concerns of members who do not feel safe on Capitol Hill in the wake of the violent insurgency and of those who, since the attack, have wanted to strengthen their security due to fear of others. members.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, told reporters last week that while she is committed to addressing her colleagues’ security concerns, this effort is being hampered because “the enemy is in the House of Representatives, “referring to the rhetoric and behavior of some Republican members of Congress.

Pelosi released a statement Tuesday night after the rule was passed.

“It’s impossible to understand why a member would refuse to adhere to these simple, common sense steps to keep that body safe,” Pelosi said. “It is sad that we have been forced to move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to respect these protections, but the People’s House must and will be safe, so that we can honor our responsibility to do the work of the people. “

This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

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