GOP Refuses To Follow New Capitol Safety Rules In Aftermath Of Riot
House Republicans are refusing to obey new Capitol security rules and go through metal detectors after a deadly riot threatened their lives a week ago.
Legislators entered the chamber on Tuesday evening to vote on whether to invoke the 25th amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office after inducing a crowd of his supporters to close the Capitol on Jan. storm to discard the election results.
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As part of new safeguards in response to the uprising, lawmakers must now go through metal detectors to enter the chamber and vote. But many Republican members of Congress loved the idea of going through the same security checkpoint that everyone else goes through when entering the Capitol.
As reported by HuffPost's Matt Fuller, about 10 Republicans walked around the metal detectors as a group - including representatives Ralph Norman (SC) and Scott Perry (Pa.), While Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC) walked the metal detector right in front of the group . According to Fuller, the Capitol Police guarding the door to the house floor seemed confused about what to do.
The constitution does not technically allow the Capitol Police to stop or detain members of Congress on the way to a vote. Under the speech or debate clause, members of the House and Senate cannot be arrested during a session of their respective chamber or while in and out of the same chamber. The only exceptions are when they commit treason, crime, or breach of peace.
A group of legislators then formed at the metal detectors off the ground, set the machines down consistently and had to be inspected by the Capitol Police. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) Yelled that he was "physically prevented" from stepping on the floor, while Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) told police he thought the metal detectors were unconstitutional.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Who previously bragged about carrying a gun in the Capitol, was in a standoff with the Capitol Police over her bag that triggered the metal detector, according to CNN's Ryan Nobles. Boebert declined to allow the Capitol Police to search her bag, despite telling her it could not be left on the floor of the house until she did. She was eventually allowed into the chamber, but Nobles was unable to confirm whether the Capitol Police had previously searched her bag.
Republicans were increasingly encouraged to oppose security measures. A lawmaker set down the metal detector and marched straight into the chamber without stopping to be inspected by the police, who did not stop it. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) walked around the detector and told the police, "You can't stop me. I'm on my way to a vote."
R-Idaho MP Russ Fulcher pushed past a police officer after triggering the metal detector. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) snuck past the metal detector and pushed through officials and another lawmaker. As lawmakers kept stepping into the chamber, the number of Republicans who decided to test the police grew - just six days after the Capitol police overran the Capitol and one of them was killed.
Metal detectors are widely used in schools, airports, and for members of the public visiting the Capitol. They are designed to protect members of Congress, especially before Joe Biden's inauguration next week. But with dozens of Republicans completely ignoring the new security measures, they won't protect anyone.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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