Republicans Are Throwing a Tantrum Over Capitol Metal Detectors

One Republican insists that the metal detectors now required to get onto the House floor are unconstitutional.
January 13, 2021, 4:54pm
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector as he enters the House chamber, new security measures put into place after a mob loyal to Trump stormed the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Pho
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector as he enters the House chamber, new security measures put into place after a mob loyal to Trump stormed the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, which left five people dead, the Democratic-led House changed its rules Tuesday, and will now require members to pass through metal detectors to get on the House floor. 

House Republicans, predictably, were furious about that.

More than a dozen GOP members of Congress reportedly walked around the metal detector, while Rep. Steve Stivers did comply with the rule, but told the police overseeing the metal detectors it was unconstitutional, according to HuffPost

Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas yelled that he was being physically restrained, according to multiple reports.

“You are creating a problem you do not understand the ramifications of!” Womack told the police. Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois focused his ire on Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, yelling that the new rules were “bullshit,” according to the newsletter Punchbowl. 

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Rep. Steve Scalise, the number-two House Republican who survived an assassination attempt during a Congressional baseball practice in 2017, reportedly said that the situation was “untenable” and that it “impedes the ability of members to come and vote.” 

And Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has had a well-publicized fight with House Democrats over her desire to openly carry a gun on the House floor, reportedly refused to allow Capitol Police to search her bag. Boebert was eventually allowed onto the floor, according to a CNN reporter


“Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week,” Boebert said in a tweet following the incident. “It’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.”

Boebert, a freshman from Colorado, has vowed to carry a weapon at the Capitol and on the streets of D.C., in violation of the District’s strict restrictions on concealed carry and outright prohibition on open carry. Boebert released a campaign ad earlier this month reiterating that promise.

"Even though I now work in one of the most liberal cities in America, I refuse to give up my rights, especially my Second Amendment rights," Boebert says in the video.

Following the release of the video, D.C. police chief Robert Contee III said he would contact Boebert to make sure “she is aware of what the laws of the District of Columbia are."

Republicans reportedly continued to ignore police and the metal detectors on Wednesday morning. 

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a freshman Republican from North Carolina, claimed in an interview with local weekly The Smoky Mountain News that he was armed during the riot.

“We didn't have our Capitol police escort so there were multiple times we needed to change the [evacuation] route we were taking just to be safe,” Cawthorn told the paper. “Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves.”

In addition to the new metal detectors, the House adopted a rule Tuesday that hits lawmakers who refuse to wear face masks on the floor with a $500 fine for the first offense and a $2,500 fine for the second. During the Capitol riot, dozens of members sheltered together in a secured room where a group of Republicans refused to wear masks.

One of those Republicans, freshman Rep. and QAnon follower Marjorie Taylor Greene, said in a statement last weekend that she “does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask.” Since then, three House Democrats, including 75-year-old cancer survivor Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, have tested positive for COVID-19

“Masks are just common decency and common sense and these people refused to wear masks,” Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, who also tested positive, told reporters yesterday in a Zoom press conference, “It’s more than arrogance and contempt. It’s a desire to cause injury to others, is the only way I can describe it.”