House Democrats voted on Tuesday to enforce a rule requiring all representatives to go through a metal detector before entering the chamber. The resolution, which passed by a party-line vote, will fine members $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for their subsequent violations.
The fines will be deducted from House members’ pay.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the metal detectors to be installed following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. This upset some Republican members of the House, some of whom attempted to bypass the metal detectors.
“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 last month.
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!”
But Democrats have said that the metal detectors are needed following last month’s riot. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said during a CNN interview last month that members bypassing the metal detectors were “endangering” representatives.
"You are openly disobeying the rules that we have established as a community, which means that you cannot be trusted to be held accountable to what we've decided as a community,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN. “And so I don't really care what they say their intentions are, I care what the impact of their actions are, and the impact is to put all 435 members of Congress in danger."
Meanwhile, 5,000 members of the National Guard remain stationed at the US Capitol as the complex remains on high alert.