Following the deadly riot on Capitol Hill last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) imposed a requirement that members of Congress pass through metal detectors before reaching the House floor.
$5,000 fines imposed
One of them is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who was quoted by the Washington Examiner as stating that he ran into trouble after stepping out to use the restroom.
“Since I had been complying with the metal detector requirement despite the Constitutional issue, I was surprised to receive a notice today stating that I had not complied with their policy and that I would be fined $5,000,” Gohmert announced.
“I will be appealing the fine and taking whatever action is necessary, especially considering this policy is unconstitutional,” the GOP member continued.
“I explained to the Capitol Police officer that I had never been required to be screened again from the restroom immediately by the House floor since the metal detectors had been in place at the other doors.”
“I said they had witnessed me walk the few feet to the men’s room, enter and take the few steps back,” he recalled. “No one ever mentioned or made that a requirement until yesterday.”
“Unlike in the movie The Godfather, there are no toilets with tanks where one could hide a gun, so my reentry onto the House floor should have been a non-issue,” he added.
Pelosi accused of violating own rule
Another Republican ordered to pay a fine was Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA). Clyde discussed the issue last week during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“Well, you know, this is a constitutional issue,” the Examiner quoted Clyde as telling Ingraham. “Those metal detectors are there to detain, and that’s a violation of Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution.”
“You know, we’re going to the House floor to vote, we represent 700,000 people in our districts. And the Constitution says that we cannot be impeded when we go the floor to vote,” he added. “I’m gonna fight it. I’m going to appeal it. And then, I’m going to take them to court because this is unconstitutional. We’re all set up to do that, but I had to have standing.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reported on Saturday that Pelosi herself stands accused of bypassing the metal detectors, prompting Republicans to call for her to pay the same fine that Clyde and Gohmert are facing.