Republicans say they’re planning a “huge push” to force Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to pay a hefty fine after Pelosi reportedly skirted the metal detectors in place outside the House chambers, defying her own rule requiring all members to submit to the increased security.
Fox News reports that members of the House GOP caught Pelosi using an alternative entrance to the House — an entrance that allows the Speaker to bypass the new security measures, put in place after a January 6th attack on the United States Capitol that allegedly came within feet of threatening lawmakers.
“She opened the session on the floor, she came through what is known as the Speaker’s lobby,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) told the network. “We are all told, one Republican was fined for doing this just yesterday, that you cannot walk through those entrances unless you are disabled.”
Last week, Pelosi and other members of Democratic House leadership pushed through a rule requiring all members to pass through a pair of metal detectors or submit to a basic search before entering House chambers in order, they said, to ensure that federal lawmakers were entirely safe while conducting House business. The rule levied steep fines for bypassing security.
“The House of Representatives voted in a major security upgrade on Wednesday, including a new $5,000-per-incident fine for bypassing metal detectors now stationed at the entrance to House chambers,” The Daily Wire noted. “The fine, first proposed weeks ago by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is designed to prevent confrontations like the ones that took place in early January when select Republicans refused to open their briefcases for security or pass through metal detectors before heading to work.”
“The rule gives the Sergeant-at-Arms the authority to fine lawmakers $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 on a second if the legislators do not complete the security screening to enter the house, which includes walking through a metal detector,” USA Today added Wednesday. “The new metal detectors were put at the House Chamber’s entrance in the wake of the mob that stormed the Capitol, incited by former President Donald Trump. However, some Republican members openly ignored and balked at the screening in the days that followed.”
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) was the first legislator fined the $5,000; he ducked the metal detectors when “he’d left the House floor to use the bathroom,” according to Fox.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) slammed the House leader on Twitter.
“Pay the fine Speaker Pelosi,” Crenshaw wrote, tearing into the rule itself, and noting how Speaker Pelosi’s “exemption” exposed how useless the rule itself is for protecting lawmakers. “Now is this a smart rule? No. Is this a rule that makes sense? No of course not. But that’s not the point, the point is they’re her rules. She’s literally confiscated property in the form of money, which we think is unconstitutional, but in any case they’re doing it.”
Crenshaw pledged to make a “huge push” to force Pelosi to pay the fine she levied on herself, reporting the violation to the Capitol Police who, he says, can get an official violation from the Sergeant-at-Arms.
“She won’t abide by the rules herself so we’re going to make a huge push for her to actually have to pay that fine,” Crenshaw said.