Feb 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House votes to fine lawmakers who don't comply with metal detectors

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walks through a metal detector before entering the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks through a metal detector before entering the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House on Tuesday night created a new rule to fine lawmakers up to $10,000 if they refuse to pass through metal detectors in Congress.

Why it matters: The new screening measures were introduced on Capitol Hill following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

Details: The House voted 216-210 in favor of the rule that would see lawmakers who flout the requirements fined $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 thereafter, with the money deducted from their salaries.

  • All Republicans present voted against the measure.

The big picture: Several GOP members have expressed displeasure at the move to install metal detectors on Capitol Hill. Some, like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), have been spotted side-stepping them.

  • The chief of staff of Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who refused to hand her bag to police despite triggering magnetometers, urged lawmakers in an email earlier to vote against the rule, which he called "unconstitutional," per the Washington Post.
  • House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said in a speech before the vote, "Apparently, it will take a rules change to ensure all members follow the rules, just like everyone else."

Of note: The new rule comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced to Democratic colleagues on Tuesday plans for heightened security measures in response to the riots.

Go deeper