Republicans protest, circumvent new metal detectors inside Capitol after riot

WASHINGTON — Several Republican members of Congress on Tuesday complained about — or outright bypassed — the metal detectors to enter the House floor, which were ordered put in place by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol.

Ahead of a House vote Tuesday evening calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, the Republican members expressed anger and frustration in accessing the chamber.

Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Stivers of Ohio, Van Taylor of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Debbie Lesko of Arizona and Larry Bucshon of Indiana, among others, were seen not complying with police at checkpoints or complained about the measure’s implementation, according to press pool and media reports.

Boebert, a newly elected member who vowed in a viral video to carry a gun in the Capitol, was seen in an apparent dispute with police over going through the metal detector.

“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,” she tweeted. “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.”

Under the direction of Speaker Pelosi, magnetometers are at entrances to the House floor. Members of Congress are not allowed to perform their duty to vote on behalf of their constituents without going through this “security” checkpoint. @GOPLeader needs to formally protest.

— Larry Bucshon, MD (@RepLarryBucshon) January 13, 2021

Members, however, have been told: “firearms are restricted to a Member’s Office.”

Taylor refused to pass through the metal detector and argued with officers about it, said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va.

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., told the officers at the door “this is bulls—” as he went through the security, saying the police were securing the wrong perimeter.

“The threat is not on the interior side of the building. You are taking valuable resources completely away from where it needs to be. And you guys did it without any consultation with the minority,” Davis told House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., outside the chamber. “Bulls—.”

The new measure apparently has created tension between some members and police. Davis defused a dispute between a member and police as he was talking to reporters at the Capitol.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who survived a shooting during a congressional baseball game in 2017, told reporters that the extra layer of security was not needed, and he criticized Pelosi for “impeding” members from voting, saying the change was “never discussed” with GOP leadership.

Rep. Van Taylor is in front of me as I’m trying to go in to vote, refusing to pass through a metal detector and arguing with U.S. Capitol Police officers about it

— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) January 13, 2021

Lesko, in a tweet, blamed Pelosi.

“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,” she said. “These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!”

On the House floor, during arguments on a motion regarding the 25th Amendment, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., called the metal detectors an “atrocity.”

“Take note, America,” he said. “This is what you have to look forward to in the Joe Biden administration.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump defender, said the added security was hampering his constitutional rights.

Alex Moe and Haley Talbot reported from Washington and Dartunorro Clark from New York.

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