Following the attack at the US Capitol last week, metal detectors were installed outside of the House chambers, and there are no exceptions on who is allowed to bypass the metal detectors. The new rules went into effect on Tuesday.
This upset some Republican members of the House, some of whom attempted to bypass the metal detectors.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced late Wednesday that there will be consequences for members who do not go through the screening.
Pelosi said that a first offense of not going through a metal detector will result in a $5,000 fine, while a second offense will cost a member $10,000. The money will be deducted directly from members’ salary.
“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Her announcement comes as thousands of members of the National Guard have descended on DC to keep order amid the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration. A large number of National Guard members have been using the Capitol as sleeping quarters, which was widely documented on social media on Wednesday.
Some members, however, expressed frustration with the security protocols.
”For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through,” said Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona. “These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!”