A handful of House Republicans clashed with the Capitol Police on Tuesday over new metal detectors that were placed outside the House chamber in the wake of the violent assault on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.
The Hill reports that several GOP lawmakers railed against the Capitol Police and Democrats over the newly installed devices as they tried to enter the House chamber.
“Bullshit,” yelled Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.). “You’re taking valuable resources completely away from where it needs to be, and you guys did it without any consultation with the minority,” he shouted at Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
“You are creating a problem you do not understand the ramifications of,” Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) yelled at the police manning the detectors, shouting at them to “get back” and “don’t touch me,” according to The Hill.
Meanwhile, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who has bragged about her plan to bring her Glock pistol in the Capitol, got into a standoff with Capitol police after setting off a detector and refusing to turn her bag over to the police for inspection.
Boebert later tweeted, “I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex” and that the detectors are “just another political stunt by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi” that wouldn’t have prevented last week’s riots.
A Democratic congressman fired back at Boebert’s remark, saying the detectors are “to keep the jackasses from carrying guns into the chamber. We’ve already got one member who’s announced she wants to bring one in there,” the lawmaker said, according to Th Hill.
From The Hill:
The metal detectors were installed Tuesday to screen everyone — including lawmakers — before entering the House chamber. The devices are the latest defense system to be set up after last week’s violent mob stormed the Capitol, overwhelming police and killing at least one officer.
“To ensure compliance with Capitol Police Board regulations concerning firearms and incendiary devices, as well as to provide a safe and secure environment in which to conduct legislative business, effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required [to] undergo security screening when entering the House chamber,” acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett wrote in a notice.
The metal detectors are set up at select entrances to the chamber, according to Blodgett, who added that “failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber.”
Republicans panned the measure Tuesday as unnecessary and claimed they were left out of the decision to set up the detectors.
“They’re impeding the ability of members to come and vote,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), adding that there were detectors at various other points throughout the Capitol complex. “They were strictly designed to impede the ability for members to come and vote. This is our job. This was never discussed by anybody, you don’t make a major change like this.”
“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. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!” added Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.).
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a conservative firebrand who heads the House Freedom Caucus, said the detectors were “crap” and “the stupidest thing” as he encountered them.
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) called on House Republicans to “formally protest” and said that “forcing the Capitol Police to not allow Members onto the House floor without a “security” checkpoint is unconstitutional.”
The Republican criticism marked the latest source of tension in a Capitol that has already been rocked by last week’s deadly riots and this week’s impeachment proceedings in the House, which are kicking off Tuesday night.
I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex.
Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 13, 2021
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. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) January 13, 2021
In addition, what @SpeakerPelosi is doing by forcing the Capitol Police to not allow Members onto the House floor without a “security” checkpoint is unconstitutional based on Article 1, Section 6. This should not stand. @GOPLeader with House Republicans must formally protest.
— Larry Bucshon, MD (@RepLarryBucshon) January 13, 2021