The House voted Tuesday to impose large fines on any lawmaker who refuses to go through a security check before reaching the chamber floor — one of the changes Democrats imposed in the wake of last month’s attack on the Capitol.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called some of her colleagues “the enemy” when it comes to safety and cheered the new fines for those who try to push by metal detectors or evade the police who now guard the door.
“It is beyond comprehension why any member would refuse to adhere to these simple, commonsense steps to keep this body safe,” she said.
The California Democrat said those trying to duck the new checks were “disrespecting” the memory of the Capitol Police officers who died or were injured because of the attack.
Violators will face a $5,000 fine for the first offense and double that for a second offense.
The new rules were tucked inside a broader resolution laying out rules for debating the budget later this week. The package was approved on a 216-210 vote. Three Democrats joined the GOP in opposing it.
Republican lawmakers have complained that stationing police to guard the doors of the chamber against the lawmakers who work there is taking bodies away from patrolling the grounds, or focusing on other dangers.
But a number of Democrats have said they feel targeted and unsafe after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Some Democrats have accused Republicans of being complicit in “murder” for having flexed Congress’s power to challenge the electoral college votes cast by states.
President Trump had told supporters that the electoral challenge was an avenue to overturning the results of the election and preventing President Biden from claiming the White House.
Mrs. Pelosi, in a letter to fellow Democratic House members on Tuesday, said the trauma of the attack is still eating at some lawmakers nearly a month later.
She also announced a project to record videos of lawmakers’ memories of the day — particularly those who were barricaded in the House while an angry pro-Trump mob forced an armed standoff with police at the doors of the chamber.
The speaker also announced her support for a “9/11-type commission” to do a full report on the causes of the attack and security lapses that allowed the mob to take over much the building.
Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life from injuries sustained during the attack, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday night into Wednesday, before burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
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