House votes to impose fines on lawmakers who fail to comply with metal detectors


The House passed new rules on Tuesday that will enact hefty fines against lawmakers who refuse to comply with the security checks now required to enter the chamber following the Jan.6 uprising.

Fines of $ 5,000 for the first offense and $ 10,000 for the second are now in effect.

The metal detectors outside the chamber of the House were installed days after the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol by a violent crowd of elders President TrumpDonald Trump Graham rejects Merrick Garland’s request for confirmation hearing on February 8 Trump’s lawyer set to present First Amendment case at impeachment trial Biden faces crossroads on virus relief bill MOREsupporters who tried to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s electoral victory.

But several House Republicans defiantly pushed Capitol Police officers and Sergeant-at-Arms staff into the House chamber without going through the metal detectors.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden, GOP Senators Agree On More COVID-19 Talks After ‘Excellent’ First Meeting McConnell Says Taylor Greene Adoption Of Conspiracy Theories Is ‘Cancer’ For GOP, Country On The Money: Schumer promises Senate to pass ‘bold’ coronavirus bill, rejects GOP offer | GOP Senators, Biden Sends Positive Waves After Long PM PLUS Meeting (D-Calif.) Subsequently announced that fines would be imposed on lawmakers – to be deducted from their salaries – for upholding the law.

“It is impossible to understand why a member would refuse to adhere to these simple, common sense steps to keep this body safe. It is sad that we have been forced to move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to comply with 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, “Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.

The fines have been incorporated into a measure adopted under party principles that sets the parameters of the floor debate for a budget resolution, which should pave the way for Democrats to adopt a coronavirus relief package without needing Republicans’ support .

Under the new rules, any notification by the Sergeant-at-Arms of a fine against a legislator will be made public by the House ethics committee.

Members will have the right to appeal any fine within 30 calendar days or five legislative days, whichever is later. The House Ethics Committee will then have the same time to consider the appeal.

Lawmakers will not be able to use campaign funds or congressional office budget funds to pay fines.

The metal detectors were installed after several GOP lawmakers, especially Reps Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) And Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.), both cited inflammatory rhetoric ahead of Jan. 6 making the promoting false allegations of Trump’s election fraud and openly discussed bearing arms on Capitol Hill.

And last week, CNN found out that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Appeared to approve of the execution of prominent Democratic politicians, including Pelosi.

“We have people in this chamber who have displayed disturbing rhetoric against the members of this body. These words and actions raise serious safety concerns, ”said House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

Democrats’ fears that GOP lawmakers carry guns were confirmed last month when Rep. Andy harrisAndrew (Andy) Peter Harris Democrats seek to make guns illegal on Capitol Hill – for everyone, Rep. Bush says she is moving from her office in Greene for security Maryland lawmakers ask Biden to honor the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting with the Presidential Medal of Freedom PLUS (R-Md.) Almost entered the bedroom of the house with a concealed pistol that was only captured by a metal detector.

Harris’s office said at the time that he and his family had recently faced security threats and said the Maryland Republican carried a gun in self-defense.

But the Harris incident further exacerbated tensions and even led some Democrats to openly express concern about the potential for violence on the ground.

Members of Congress have long been partially exempted from the rules in place that prohibit people from carrying firearms anywhere in the Capitol complex. Lawmakers can store guns in their offices or transport them – unloaded and well packed – elsewhere on Capitol Hill grounds.

But they are prohibited from carrying firearms in the chambers of the House and Senate or in adjacent areas.

Lawmakers also have the privilege of bypassing security, apart from metal detectors now outside the House chamber. All staff and visitors must go through metal detectors to enter the Capitol complex.

Two House Democrats – Representatives from California Jared huffmanJared William Huffman Democrats seek to make guns illegal on Capitol Hill – for everyone else House Democrats seek to block offshore drilling on the west coast and in the Arctic Tensions run high after incident with a gun near the floor of the house PLUS and Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierNight Defense: Biden Warns of Sanctions After Myanmar Coup | Biden asks Supreme Court to overturn border wall arguments | DEM urges social media filtering of Speier troops calls for filtering of service members’ social media accounts Democrats seek to make guns illegal on Capitol Hill – for everyone MORE – reintroduced a law last week that would end lawmakers’ exemption on firearms.

The new fines for non-compliance with metal detectors are not the only punitive measure House Democrats have taken in recent weeks to enforce rules intended to ensure safety.

Last month, the House imposed fines on any lawmaker who does not comply with rules in force since July requiring masks in the bedroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers who do not wear masks face a fine of $ 500 for the first offense and $ 2,500 for the second.

Democrats began imposing fines after several House Republicans did not wear masks while in the secure space allotted to lawmakers during the Jan.6 attack. At least three House Democrats then tested positive for COVID-19 after taking cover in the room.

The fines for enforcing the rules of the House are not without precedent. In 2017, House Republicans passed fines to punish lawmakers who broke rules banning ground photography in the wake of the Democrats’ sit-in to push for gun control legislation.

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