More than five months after a riot on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still refusing to roll back her increased security measures on members of Congress.
According to the Washington Examiner, Pelosi insists that it is still too dangerous to remove the metal detectors installed at the entrances to the House chamber.
“The enemy within”
During her weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi declared: “As long as there is a threat, we’ll have to have protection.”
Of course, it remains unclear exactly what “threat” she believes lawmakers pose. Several supposed security concerns were widely hyped by the mainstream media in recent months, but most were ultimately determined to be false alarms.
As Congress continues to debate the appropriate response to the Jan. 6 riot, Pelosi is facing accusations from some critics that she is keeping the metal detectors as an act of political theater.
She provided some insight into her partisan motivations earlier this year when she described at least some of her GOP colleagues as “the enemy within,” going on to treat Republican lawmakers as her foes.
Thousands of National Guard troops were stationed in D.C. for months without any clear purpose and a security fence erected around the Capitol building has not yet been completely removed. Last month, Pelosi approved $2 billion in additional security funding for Congress.
“False political narrative”
For their part, some critics have come to describe the House as “Fort Pelosi” and a pair of House Republicans are arguing in court that her rules have been used to target the GOP while Democrats are being waved through security checkpoints.
As the Examiner notes, Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Andrew Clyde (R-GA) filed a lawsuit after being fined for violating the House rules. Clyde accused Pelosi of advancing a “false political narrative” that “Republican members and their voters are dangerous domestic terrorists.”
It appears that the speaker is attempting to create the impression that a shadowy, ill-defined right-wing threat is continually hanging over the Capitol complex.
Her stalled efforts to mount a bipartisan commission charged with investigating the riot also struck critics as a cynical attempt to label the political right as an insurgent movement.
The Biden administration has advanced its own efforts to address supposed home-grown terror threats by right-wing radicals and certain media figures have all but called for Republican leaders to be rounded up and imprisoned.