House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is done dealing with Republican whiners who refuse to cooperate with Capitol Police by going through metal detectors, so now they will be slapped with a fine for every day they act like petulant toddlers.
The metal detectors were installed in the wake of the failed insurrection at the Capitol last week out of grave concern that House Republicans are bringing guns on the House floor, where they are forbidden to be carried. But several Republicans, the same Republicans who have forced schools to install metal detectors rather than do anything legislatively to prevent gun violence, have been complaining and have even refused to be searched or have evaded the metal detectors entirely.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) caused a scene this week when she refused to let Capitol Police search her bag after she set off the metal detector. It’s very likely she was smuggling a gun into the chamber since she has vowed to carry a gun in Congress despite it being against House rules. Eventually, she entered the chamber but it’s unclear if her bag was ever searched. If not, she may have very well had a gun, which makes her a threat to the lives of Democrats, especially since she live-tweeted Pelosi’s location during the insurrection and helped Trump supporters do reconnaissance of the building the day before they stormed it.
In response to her and other Republicans, Pelosi announced that the House will now move to impose heavy fines for each and every day they don’t cooperate with Capitol Police and new security protocols.
“On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Sadly, just days later, many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe. The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections. The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members’ salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer. It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.”
That makes it quite possible that members would lose their entire $174,000 annual salary over the course of the session just by refusing to cooperate with measures Americans are already forced to endure at schools and airports across the country. Pelosi is right, it’s tragic that Republicans aren’t taking security seriously in the aftermath of a domestic terrorist attack. Of course, many of those Republicans were likely helping the insurrectionists and were hoping they would murder some of their Democratic colleagues.
In addition, fines will be imposed for every day Republicans refuse to wear a mask on the House floor in response to several Democrats testing positive for the coronavirus after being forced to shelter in closed quarters with Republicans who refused to mask up during the siege.
This is a good first step to bring Republicans to heel, but what really needs to happen is for many of these Republicans to be censured or expelled for their seditious and reckless misconduct. They are not only a danger to the lives of Democrats, they are a threat to democracy and do not belong anywhere near the Capitol.
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