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Pelosi announces hefty fines for members who avoid new Capitol metal detectors after GOP objections

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling members of Congress to comply with new security measures at the U.S Capitol or literally pay a price.

The California Democrat announced an eyebrow-raising new plan to impose thousands of dollars in fines on House members who refuse to go through newly-installed metal detectors in the U.S. Capitol. The safety measure was put in place in response to the violence that erupted there last week.

In addition to a new rule that began Tuesday that fines lawmakers $500 for not wearing a mask on the House floor, Pelosi’s office announced Wednesday that members will be fined  $5,000 for avoiding the metal detectors or not complying with security. A second offense will cost a whopping $10,000 and all the penalties will be extracted directly from members’ pay.

“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,” Pelosi said in a statement.

SG Nancy Pelosi/ Getty: Photo by Chip Somodevilla

The Democrat went on to accuse GOP lawmakers of “verbally abusing” security officials at the Capitol.

“Sadly, 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,” she outrageously claimed.

“The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections,” Pelosi announced, adding that 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,” she added.

The move comes after last week’s violence and after several lawmakers refused to comply with the new security measures. Some noted that the changes were made without consulting the members.

House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., tangled with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. and Capitol Police over the newly-installed detectors.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.,  who previously vowed she would exercise her right to be armed at the Capitol, set off a metal detector with her purse which she then refused to hand over to be checked.

Rep. Chip Roy announced he has no intention of passing through the metal detectors.

“The metal detector policy for the House floor is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and endangers members,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “I did not comply tonight. I will not comply in the future.”

“What we have right now is our Capitol Hill police personnel, who are extraordinary, and I thank them so much for their service,” Roy, who had said that Trump committed “impeachable conduct,” but did not vote to impeach him, told Fox News on Wednesday.

“But when they stand in the doors, they’re being asked to focus their responsibility, to look at members of Congress, and we’re supposed to go exercise our constitutional duty to go vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and we’re wasting resources and time by drawing their attention to members of Congress at the entrances to the House floor,” he said.

“That is a waste of resources. That endangers lives,” Roy added, noting that lawmakers will be “sitting- ducks” on the House floor.

“Sending a signal to the world that we are unarmed; that we are sitting on the House floor without the ability to protect ourselves. That is what this new metal detector policy does,” Roy continued, calling the move unconstitutional. “I will object and continue to object to it. That is in no way, shape or form, contrary to my support for Capitol Hill Police who are doing their job. This is a policy that is the wrong policy put in place by the Sergeant at Arms.”

Frieda Powers

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